David’s Cisco Networking Blog

Aug 25 2008   5:16AM GMT

What effect could Internet access have for everyone around the USA?

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

It has been suggested that the United States only uses 5% of the Internet. There is so much untapped information that can be accessed but unavailable due to technology restraints. But, thanks to the latest article from Google’s co-founder, Larry Page on Google’s vision of “wi-fi on steroids”, it may be possible in the very near future to fully utilize the internet for personal use and to attract tourism to remote areas that previously were unavailable or unknown. That’s one of the many potential uses for the wireless spectrum that is now lying unused between TV channels, says Page. To put this in perspective, think about all the unused open sectors on your PC hard drive. Once they are identified and compressed, wow, it’s like your PC suddenly is in warp drive. That’s an analogy of the “white space” that is available on the internet but not being used. White space or spectrum sensing as it is called holds the promise of giving low income Americans the availability to access the internet via wi-fi wireless Mesh networking at a cost that can be affordable. It can be possible to hold a conversation while passing through a tunnel or on a subway using this technology.

Current internet providers need not worry. Personal/portable devices will continuously scan for TV and wireless microphone signals, both full and low-power TV licensees will be detected and avoided even if they change channel assignments in the future. If FCC give its approval for use of spectrum sensing, it will not be implemented until after the February 2009 transition deadline. Additionally, it will take time for manufacturers to build and for the FCC to test and certify the devices.  For additional information, please read the blog: Larry Page talks about Google’s vision of “wi-fi on steroids”.

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