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Super Wi-Fi Network Eyed For Rural College Towns

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Rural road


AIR.U, a consortium of higher education associations, public interest groups, and technology companies, has launched an effort to bring more super Wi-Fi broadband service to university towns in rural areas.

AIR.U will use TV white spaces, which are readily available in rural areas, to expand coverage and capacity in communities with below average broadband services. "Rural spectrum can be used in all kinds of new and exciting ways," says Gig.U executive director Blair Levin.

The AIR.U plan comes after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission recently approved the use of the white spaces for unlicensed broadband use. AIR.U plans to launch super Wi-Fi pilot programs in six rural university towns in the first three months of 2013, according to Declaration Network Group CEO Robert Nichols.

"We believe these pilot networks will demonstrate a very cost-effective way to upgrade university and community connectivity," says Wireless Future Project director Michael Calabrese.

He notes that many rural university towns have several idle TV channels that could be utilized for wireless broadband, and he says in some regions 70 percent of the TV spectrum is unused.

From IDG News Service 
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