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What are TV White Spaces? - Tech Learning

What are TV White Spaces?

Unused TV broadcast channels, known as "TV white spaces," are now being used to deliver wireless high-speed Internet connectivity to education, business and community users in Claudville, Virginia.
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Unused TV broadcast channels, known as "TV white spaces," are now being used to deliver wireless high-speed Internet connectivity to education, business and community users in Claudville, Virginia. These unused frequencies are a by-product of the transition to digital TV, and offer great potential for expanding broadband access, particularly in rural and other underserved areas.

Under an experimental license granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Spectrum Bridge designed and deployed a wireless TV white spaces network to distribute broadband Internet connectivity in Claudville, Virginia. To ensure that Claudville residents can make the most of this new high-speed connectivity, Dell, Microsoft and the TDF Foundation contributed modern computer systems and software applications to the local school, as well as the town's new computer center. As a result, Claudville residents have already begun to reap the benefits of joining the online community.

TV white spaces are ideal for sending broadband signals across long distances and for penetrating walls, trees and other objects. The TV white spaces network is providing the "middle mile" link between the wired backhaul and the WiFi hot spot networks deployed in Claudville's school as well as the business area. The same network is also providing last mile broadband connectivity directly to end users.

"Our students and teachers did not have access to computers or broadband connectivity until now," said Jerry Whitlow, administrator of Trinity Christian School. "The advantages these new technologies bring to our classrooms will be numerous, including expanded research and information resources, greater understanding of important world events and access to new distance learning opportunities." 

To ensure that the use of TV white spaces in Claudville does not cause interference with local TV signals, the network is controlled by Spectrum Bridge's intelligent TV white spaces database system. This database assigns non-interfering frequencies to white spaces devices, and can adapt in real time to new TV broadcasts, as well as to other protected TV band users operating in the area.

For more information, visit ShowMyWhiteSpace.com.

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 For the first time in the U.S., unused TV broadcast channels freed by the transition to digital TV are being used to deliver wireless high-speed Internet connectivity to education, business and community users.