Google testing white space broadband in Ohio

Google has announced, via their Public Policy Blog, that they are testing broadband using white space from the TV spectrum. They are testing the white space broadband project in Logan, Ohio, a small town in southern Ohio, at the Hocking Valley Community Hospital.

The project was granted a special license from the FCC to use open frequencies that were used by TV stations before they switched from analog to digital. Google is using the project to demonstrate the potential of white space broadband and hoping that it will spark innovation and pave the way for new applications of white space broadband.

The hospital is using the broadband network in first responder vehicles and on the hospital grounds, the health department is also being equipped with wireless access. Since the available frequencies can vary by location the project is using Spectrum Bridge’s real-time TV white spaces database which keeps track of white space availability in any location.

On Thursday, September 23, the FCC Commission will vote on rules governing the use of the white space spectrum, the vote could make or break the potential for white space broadband. Microsoft is also testing a white space broadband setup at their Redmond campus.

"White spaces technology could free new unlicensed radio frequencies for consumers in every community and generate investment in innovation, much as we observed with Wi-Fi,"  said Dan Reed, VP of technology strategy and policy at Microsoft.

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15 Comments

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I'd like to see how this works out, becuase southeast ohio is very hilly. Im guessing that is why they would pick somwhere like that.

This is exciting. I wonder what the speeds are going to be like? This could potentially lead to cheaper broadband packages that could beat 3G and 4G.

netwokz said,
This is exciting. I wonder what the speeds are going to be like? This could potentially lead to cheaper broadband packages that could beat 3G and 4G.

or.. this could lead into 4G. 4G already takes into account that some frequencies will be freed up

still1 said,

I am sure you didn't read the article.

Lol. Why do people comment if they didn't even read the article. They seen the title didn't mention Microsoft, and assumed the article doesn't mention it either. Haha.

still1 said,

I am sure you didn't read the article.

If you had read the article I posted --- Google Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Motorola Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. are also making plans for a new era of wireless video and data traffic using vacant airwaves previously reserved for television.

A Geek Of All said,

If you had read the article I posted --- Google Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Motorola Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. are also making plans for a new era of wireless video and data traffic using vacant airwaves previously reserved for television.

In Ohio?

This seems like something that could be really useful. I wonder what kind of access speeds the test in Ohio offers.

xTdub said,
This seems like something that could be really useful. I wonder what kind of access speeds the test in Ohio offers.

Want to let everyone know that it will probably never take off. Sadly. The nasty folks at the FCC shot down devices purposed from Microsoft and Google some time ago (check engadget) Dont know what the reasons where given but this would be a great idea for areas only dial up can reach that are outside cable/dsl service areas. That spectrum potentially has a lot of bandwidth.

Nexus- said,

Want to let everyone know that it will probably never take off. Sadly. The nasty folks at the FCC shot down devices purposed from Microsoft and Google some time ago (check engadget) Dont know what the reasons where given but this would be a great idea for areas only dial up can reach that are outside cable/dsl service areas. That spectrum potentially has a lot of bandwidth.

The FCC blocked it because use of the white space spectrum is currently not mentioned anywhere in law or policy. It isn't banned per se--just not allowed, so the devices were blocked by default.

They are voting on the legalisation of white space spectrum usage next week.