FCC Opens up “white-spaces” spectrum for “Super Wi-Fi”
September 24, 2010 Leave a comment
The FCC voted unanimously to allow the use of unutilized broadcast spectrum TV white spaces to open up the way for “super Wi-Fi” wireless broadband networks, but set aside two channels nationwide for wireless microphones.
The spectrum in question was freed up through the nation’s transition from analog to digital television broadcasting in June 2009.
The agency also directed the Office of Engineering and Technology to develop a database that will include information on wireless microphone venues. The agency has given experimental licenses to several cities and seen how the spectrum could be used for telemedicine, connecting larger school campuses, machine-to-machine communications and smart cities applications, said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. However, beyond super Wi-Fi, the most innovative services could be on the horizon, he noted.
The move represents the first significant block of spectrum to be made available for unlicensed use in more than 25 years since 1985.
The agency also addressed wireless 911 accuracy requirements. The FCC approved a timeline and benchmarks to make sure that wireless operators give more accurate information at the county or PSAP (public safety administration point) level. The report applies to both handset- and network-based E-911 environments. Further, the FCC started a Notice of Inquiry on how Voice over Internet Protocol services can also provide accurate location information to public-safety personnel. The FCC is also asking how to address E-911 calls placed from callers who are indoors. Genachowski said that landline-based 911 calls are accurate 98% of the time, compared to wireless calls, which are accurate only about 50% of the time.
I guess we should expect to see ton of devices that will connect us to such new “super Wi-Fi” networks within a year or so.