[FoRK] Using TV airwaves for internet

Albert S. <albert.scherbinsky at rogers.com> on Sun Mar 18 11:18:01 PDT 2007

Sounds interesting. It's really good if it does
everything that I expect from WiMax.

Will it be a North America wide standard? Will I
eventually be able to access my notebook over it from
almost anywhere? Will I be able to do VOIP phone calls
over it? Will I need a big honking TV transmitter on
top of my house or car to have the same up bandwidth
as down bandwidth?


--- Udhay Shankar N <udhay at pobox.com> wrote:

> Some raw bits, sent out mostly to get feedback from
> the folks here on 
> this idea. Sounds interesting, and might even work.
> What do you think?
> Udhay
> Tech Firms Push to Use TV Airwaves for Internet
> Cable, Phone Companies Watch Warily
> By Charles Babington
> Washington Post Staff Writer
> Tuesday, March 13, 2007; Page D01
> A coalition of big technology companies wants to
> bring high-speed 
> Internet access to consumers in a new way: over
> television airwaves. 
> Key to the project is whether a device scheduled to
> be delivered to 
> federal labs today lives up to its promise.
> The coalition, which includes Microsoft and Google,
> wants regulators 
> to allow idle TV channels, known as white space, to
> be used to beam 
> the Internet into homes and offices. But the Federal
> Communications 
> Commission first must be convinced that such traffic
> would not bleed 
> outside its designated channels and interfere with
> existing broadcasts.
> The six partners -- Microsoft, Google, Dell,
> Hewlett-Packard, Intel 
> and Philips -- say they can meet that challenge.
> Today, they plan to 
> give FCC officials a prototype device, built by
> Microsoft, that will 
> undergo months of testing.
> If the device passes muster, the coalition says, it
> could have 
> versions in stores by early 2009.
> Proponents liken the idea to so-called WiFi signals,
> which provide 
> wireless Internet access from phone or cable
> companies to users in 
> airports, coffee shops and elsewhere.
> "These devices have the potential to take the
> success of the WiFi 
> phenomenon to another level," said Jonathan S.
> Adelstein, an FCC commissioner.
> Warily watching from the sidelines are the major
> telephone and cable 
> companies that compete to bring high-speed Internet
> into millions of 
> businesses and homes.
> Telecommunications officials and analysts differ on
> the degree to 
> which TV-spectrum-based Internet access might
> seriously threaten 
> existing Internet providers.
> Some said a new Internet provider might force the
> older companies to 
> drop prices. Others said the available white-space
> spectrum might be 
> too limited to make much of an impact.
> Wireless carriers said they were not afraid of new
> rivals. "The 
> wireless industry was born in a competitive
> environment," said 
> Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon Wireless spokesman,
> playing down the risk 
> to his company. AT&T said in a statement that FCC
> rules "should 
> protect not only current TV band incumbents from
> interference but 
> also those services that will be introduced into
> adjacent spectrum" 
> in the future.
> Several analysts said a TV-spectrum system might
> make the most sense 
> in rural areas, where high-speed Internet access via
> phone or cable 
> lines is expensive to deploy. Small companies might
> build some 
> towers, beam white-space spectrum to farm homes and
> cabins, and 
> connect it to an Internet provider, they said.
> In urban areas, a TV Internet system might somehow
> be combined with 
> phone- or cable-provided Internet service to
> redirect signals through 
> every wall of a house or office -- without replacing
> the phone or 
> cable company as the provider, said a person
> affiliated with the 
> coalition. He spoke on condition of anonymity
> because he was not 
> authorized to speak on the record about such
> possible uses.
> In a document filed with the FCC, the coalition
> stated: "As the 
> world's largest producers of consumer electronics,
> software, 
> semiconductors, personal computers, and peripheral
> devices, the 
> Coalition's members stand ready to commit
> substantial resources to 
> bring these advancements to consumers."
> Google joined the coalition because the effort could
> create 
> opportunities to transmit information over new
> platforms. It also 
> might strengthen Google's hand should the
> traditional Internet 
> pipelines -- big phone and cable companies -- start
> charging Internet 
> companies higher prices to move their content more
> swiftly to consumers.
> "It recognizes that the heart of the problem is a
> lack of competition 
> on the broadband platform," said Rick Whitt,
> Google's telecom and 
> media counsel in Washington. "We're very interested
> in finding ways 
> to create platforms for other broadband
> connectivity."
> Staff writers Sam Diaz and Alan Sipress contributed
> to this report.
> -- 
> ((Udhay Shankar N)) ((udhay @ pobox.com))
> ((www.digeratus.com))
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