Google gets behind wireless broadband bid

13th Dec 2007 | 00:00

Google gets behind wireless broadband bid

White spaces between TV channels ripe for faster internet

Followers of all things Google may have heard about the company's plans to bid for a chunk of the licensed radio spectrum in the US in order to build some kind of wireless network there. But its latest move also sees it eyeing up unlicensed areas that are currently not on the table.

As of yesterday, Google is now a member of the Wireless Innovation Alliance (WIA). This is a body dedicated to lobbying for the deregulation of the parts of the radio spectrum currently used for television broadcasts.

Fallow and fertile

According to the WIA, the 'white spaces' currently separating analogue channels from each other are among the best electromagnetic real estate available for building robust wireless broadband networks. Moreover, they are mostly entirely unused.

Although the group - which includes technology firms, universities and consumer groups among its members - is a US-only concern, the implications for deregulated white spaces apply regardless of nationality.

Never offline

Google and its new pals are particularly interested in the increased reliability of data transmissions in the area and in some appealing physical characteristics. Transmitters on the frequency can cover far larger areas than existing wireless technologies operating on other parts of the spectrum and can pass through buildings and other obstacles unhindered.

The WIA's vision is of a deregulated future where cheap, fast wire-free broadband can easily be made available anywhere to anyone. It predicts that - should it succeed in opening up the TV spectrum - low-power devices that are never offline will herald the dawn of a new connected age for all.

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