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Air.U initiative begins for 'white space' rural broadband development

updated 06:33 pm EST, Thu November 14, 2013

Program to boost online university, using space between TV channels

Declaration Networks Group, co-founder of the AIR.U initiative and a provider of wireless access networks, today announced the introduction of a Quick Start Network Program to accelerate deployment of next-generation broadband networks in rural areas. The AIR.U Quick Start Network Program will deploy high-capacity broadband networks, using frequency from "white spaces" - underused bandwidth allocated for television stations. The program includes a collaborative campus and community assessment that will ultimately increase the coverage and capacity of high-speed wireless connectivity.

The AIR.U initiative, announced in 2012, is a consortium of education associations, public interest groups and high-tech companies organized to establish high capacity "white space" networks supporting wireless broadband applications in underserved campuses and their surrounding communities.

The founding Higher Ed organizations collectively represent over 500 colleges and universities nationwide and include the United Negro College Fund, the New England Board of Higher Education, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education, and Gig.U, a consortium of 37 major universities committed to accelerating broadband connectivity and services. Google, Microsoft, New America Foundation, Declaration Networks Group, LLC, and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) are also founding partners.

The Quick Start Network Program builds on the first AIR.U network deployment on the campus of West Virginia University (WVU), providing students, faculty and staff wireless access to the Internet at WVU's Personal Rapid Transit platforms.It marks the next phase in the AIR.U initiative and is aimed at expanding the deployment of high capacity networks within Higher Ed communities. This next phase of activities will include the development of a coordinated user group for AIR.U Quick Start participants to further develop the "white space" technology, establish best practices, identify applications and share approaches for community expansion activities.

AIR.U institutions that take advantage of the Quick Start Network program will receive an AIR.U certified White Space network that includes a base configuration supporting multiple Wi-Fi hotspots that provide high value applications including Public Wi-Fi, and residential broadband services.




by MacNN Staff

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