The next major FCC action might just be the White Space spectrum, those frequencies that used to carry your old analog TV channels. A more complete understanding of this spectrum has led me to believe that there is a major opportunity here, and the possibilities are nearly endless. Most recent findings, those the FCC intend to base decisions on, see this as a Win-Win for consumers.
One of the most important aspects of this technology is that the white space that surrounds your home or school belongs to you. Using the white space, high speed internet access can be broadcast via these seldom used low frequency channels to a central hub, a combination TV tuner/wireless router that can both send and receive data as well as hook up all of your wireless devices. The theory is that you, or your school, or your church should have access to these low frequency signals and at the least, be able to connect all of the devices to a single point. The local devices can be anything. TV’s, laptops, smart phones, 2 way’s, or kid trackers. The network uses the old analog TV signal space grandma used to watch Cronkite on.
Think of your hub being the TV station both receiving and broadcasting, via an encrypted, secure, and low power channel to your IPad at the train station 3 miles away. Think of connecting all of the televisions, stereo’s, speakers, and consoles you are using today to your hub without a single wire. Since it uses the low frequency space the old analog TV signals occupied before the birth of digital broadcasting, there are virtually thousands of available frequencies at low power for communities both large and small. Google has volunteered to create a database that uses geolocation technology to map the location of the device and compares it to the location of Hubs in an area. Theses White Space devices will need no line of sight to maintain a signal so at very low power, your hub can be hidden and you could still have a great connection 4 stories down.
The space between the channels on your television is where the future of communication lives. The potential for this white space is limited only by creativity, ingenuity, and the need for clear rules of the road. Wireless broadband is the most promising way to extend affordable, ubiquitous, high-speed Internet connections to all Americans, create mesh networks for emergency first responders, enable new capabilities that bring safety, convenience, and comfort to consumers in their homes, and empower the creators of tomorrow’s innovations.
The time is now that we allow free access to this white space, it in turn will allow developers to come up with new and innovative uses for this spectrum in conjunction with device makers, and it should allow those communities with no broadband penetration a good chance to be connected. How about a network of free television channels to broadcast the High School play or football game. How about an integrated Fire, Police, and EMS communication and training network without the outlay of taxpayer money to pay the FCC for those pesky and expensive license’s. The future is now so let’s get on with it.