Rural Broadband Could Fill Those White Spaces - Ina Fried - News - AllThingsD
On the one hand, the decision by the Federal Communications Commission last week to approve the first devices to run in the “white spaces” between television channels was a modest one.
The decision initially covers only one product, and is limited to the pilot city of Wilmington, N.C.
But backers of the technology hope those white spaces prove as big a boost to innovation as the unlicensed spectrum that gave birth to Wi-Fi.
“We see this as a multibillion-dollar industry,” said Rod Dir, CEO of Spectrum Bridge, the company whose database is a key component of the white spaces system approved by the FCC.
White spaces, for the uninitiated, are the spectrum spots in between TV channels. Like the 2.4GHZ spectrum used by several flavors of Wi-Fi, the white spaces are unlicensed spectrum, meaning any device that agrees to play nice with others and gains regulatory approval can operate in the frequency. Devices that are approved to operate in the white spaces spectrum are required to check in with a database to see which channels are available. (For more, check out AllThingsD’s handy FAQ post from last week.)
Over time, analysts imagine a range of wireless and wired devices that can use the white spaces as a sort of “Super Wi-Fi” that can operate over greater distance and perform better indoors.