Skip to content

OPLIN 4cast #427: TV white spaces

Posted in 4cast

television setIn June 2009, television stations in the United States stopped broadcasting analog signals and switched to digital transmissions. This released large areas of broadcast frequencies between 50 MHz and 700 MHz that are not needed for digital TV, and are available for other uses. One possible use of this “white space” is for wireless broadband Internet access, using relatively inexpensive equipment to transmit Internet data over these frequencies rather than using a physical connection or cellular wireless. So does this technology have any value for libraries? Possibly. The Gigabit Libraries Network is currently leading a WhiteSpace Pilot project to demonstrate how TV white space “…can increase availability and convenience of Wi-Fi access at tens of thousands of new fixed and portable public library community hotspots.”

  • Microsoft-backed TV white spaces trial goes commercial in Ghana (ZDNet | Adam Oxford)  “TV white spaces, otherwise known as dynamic spectrum allocation, is seen as a promising form of connectivity for extending broadband networks to rural areas across the world – including parts of the US. It works on unlicensed areas of the radio frequency spectrum that are allocated for analogue TV channels, using gaps in the signal to carry internet traffic. Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have all run white spaces pilots in Africa, and it is considered a promising alternative for broadband access where building a commercial case for 4G or fibre is tough.”
  • White Space, the next internet disruption: 10 things to know (TechRepublic | Lyndsey Gilpin)  “Television networks leave gaps between channels for buffering purposes, and this space in the wireless spectrum is similar to what is used for 4G and so it can be used to deliver widespread broadband internet. Typical home Wi-Fi can travel through two walls. White Space broadband can travel up to 10 kilometers, through vegetation, buildings, and other obstacles. Tablets, phones, and computers can all access this wireless internet using White Space through fixed or portable power stations.”
  • TV white space will connect the internet of things (Wired UK | James Temperton)  “Uses for the technology currently being trialled include live video streaming of meerkats at London Zoo and sensor networks to provide flood warnings on the Thames and Cherwell rivers near Oxford. Trials have also been carried out to bring faster broadband connections to ships travelling near the Orkney Islands. The first commercial uses of the technology are expected by the end of 2015.”
  • Libraries to expand as TVWS hot-spots with new Knight project (CivSource | Bailey McCann)  “Phase two of the project – with the aid of Knight funding – will expand the role of libraries using TVWS. Participants will be encouraged to think of ways to use TVWS/WiFi for community disaster planning as a redundant and potentially community resource. Ideas to explore include how to use libraries as a headquarters during disasters or as pop-up hotspots around the community.”

Articles from Ohio Web Library: