A New Broadband Possibility
Connecting More People with TV White Space
“Terrain, demographics, trees, hills, politics, and low population density all conspire to block rural residents from getting easy internet access.”
However, as we become more reliant on the Internet for communication, information, health services, and business relations, it has started to become clear that connectivity should be seen as a basic human right. Unfortunately, due to environmental obstacles, distance from major ISPs, and lack of financial incentives, connectivity is scarce in areas with low population density. This results in expensive and complex networks with a lack of options for those living in rural communities.
We at ZIRKEL Wireless seek to change this by augmenting our existing Fixed Wireless network with new breakthrough technology that utilizes TV White Space in Summer 2019. These new radios thrive in developing regions, as they are able to act as a backhaul to networks close by, utilize more open channels, deploy quickly even in difficult terrain, and utilize less equipment/infrastructure to provide coverage at further distances – saving customers money.
Furthermore, this new equipment is not just limited to rural environments. Given available channels (plentiful in our area), White Space is also a viable option for more densely populated areas as urban demonstrations have shown. This “Super Wi-Fi” effect will allow us to connect more people in more places than ever before.
TV White Space – Breakthrough Technology
A year ago Microsoft announced its Airband Initiative, an effort to move TV White Space from a good idea to a working technology. The project coordinates smaller Internet service providers, manufacturers, and software vendors around the new technology.
What is TV Shite Space?
TV White Space refers to the unused TV channels between the active ones in the VHF and UHF spectrum. These are typically referred to as the “buffer” channels. In the past, these buffers were placed between active TV channels to protect broadcasting interference. It has since been researched and proven that this unused spectrum can be used to provide broadband Internet access while operating harmoniously with surrounding TV channels.
In 2010, the FCC made this highly effective yet underutilized spectrum available for unlicensed public use. With the use of a database manager and a White Space radio, these channels can be used to access broadband Internet connectivity.
And guess what!? There are no TV broadcast stations in Northwest Colorado, so the spectrum is widely available within ZIRKEL’s coverage area!
Advantages of TV White Space over other technologies
1. Better Coverage than Wi-Fi
A traditional Wi-Fi router has a relatively limited range – around 100 meters under perfect conditions, and can be blocked by walls or other environmental barriers. TV White Space technology can cover an expanse of about 10 kilometers in diameter (100 times the distance)! This breakthrough technology was nicknamed “Super Wi-Fi” because of its superior range and ability to penetrate obstacles such as trees, buildings and rough terrain. This makes it extremely appealing for rural areas.
2. Works with existing technology
Tablets, phones and computers can all access the internet wirelessly via white space, through fixed or portable power stations.
3. Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) Performance
Microwave links require line-of-sight (LOS) between the points being connected. In areas with rugged or forested terrain, the tall towers necessary to provide this line-of-sight connection make microwave an expensive and unfeasible solution. TV White Space technology provides an effective alternative to microwave by utilizing the lower-frequency UHF signals that can penetrate obstacles and cover uneven ground without requiring additional infrastructure.
About ZIRKEL Wireless
Founded in March of 2001, ZIRKEL Wireless is a locally owned and operated Internet Service Provider. The ZIRKEL Network has the largest High-Speed Internet coverage area in Northwest Colorado and coverage continues to grow. We deliver fast, reliable & affordable Internet service utilizing various fixed wireless technologies. Our dedicated local team is responsive to the needs of our subscribers and the community.