updated 02:59 pm EDT, Fri April 19, 2013
Hopes to connect rural locations with unused TV spectrum
An Internet service provider based in California is offering residents connections using white spaces. Cal.net is using unallocated spectrum, left over after the transition from analog to digital television in 2009, to allow rural customers in areas without 4G LTE and land-based connections a wireless Internet connection.
The provider uses white space network equipment from Carlson in order to provide coverage in the Gold Country area. "Over 59,000 residents in our rural service area have had little or no quality Internet access," said Cal.net CTO Ken Garnett. Carlson and Cal.net have received a Special Temporary Authority from the FCC to provide the service, which is considered the first large-scale deployment of a commercial television white space (TVWS) service, and will use multiple transmission sites to connect several hundred subscribers in El Dorado County, in an effort to demonstrate such a service is a viable way to provide fast Internet access to rural communities.
White spaces are a point of interest to a number of entities. The first official non-trial instance of white space wireless went live in January last year, with the system in Wilmington, North Carolina used to link outdoor monitoring cameras and systems. Google has expressed interest in creating a white space database in the US, while both Google and Microsoft have sought control over white spaces in the United Kingdom.