First "Super Wi-Fi" White Space Spectrum Network Deployed In North Carolina

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OCFRED

Sounds premature to even consider this in Beta, though one must wonder about not only the latency in transmitting packets 100 klicks but what kind of wattage the consumer hardware will require to push it. A Muni grade budget will allow testing of early hardware though likely a consumer version will be more node like, perhaps with a focused parabola on the roof and fiber to the tower to inhibit gridlock. Tin foil hat kids may think it akin to the power grid, stepping down locally from a singular token ring to rule them all. Not everyone is budgeted for SatCom and with residents mounting increasing opposition to cell towers or back up power gennies in their backyards moving connection hardware to existing hilltop sites can do much more to pave a few more HOV lanes onto our current patchy highway system for folks still driving on dirt.

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compro01

Latency? Radio moves at light speed, literally. 100km is about 0.3ms.

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Hey.That_Dude

Please don't spout physics when you have forgotten one important fact. INTERFERENCE! It's very easy to get it and it screws latency as the corrupted packets have to be resent. OH! and latency has nothing to do with the medium anyway, coaxial move data at 0.9C and optical moves data at (2/3)C... guess which one has better latency.

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avenger48

If that 22 mbps is the speed of the actual internet going through these, that's actually pretty decent. It's better than basic cable, for example, or mid-tier AT&T U-Verse...

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thematejka

I agree! There aren't many situations where one would actually use up to 22mbps, and I mean that in the sense of general consumers. A bit of downloading, online gaming, etc. hardly hits that in terms of throughput. Unless the 22mbps would have to be shared by a community? That might suck.

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Holly Golightly

Chances are... The whole city is going to be sharing that broadband speed... Which is why they are being used on former TV broadcast antennas. Hey, it's free. But yeah, the frequency is shared at a 62 mile radius. So your neighbors will get to share that very same broadband space with you. Hopefully there are no broadband hogs downloading 12 bluray movies from 12 different torrent sites at the same time.

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praack

hope this does not become another broken promise for rural areas- like all the still dark fiber that was laid years back with government funds

I have a cousin near Sparta- fiber at the foot of the driveway - what are her internet choices? Satellite or a trip to town to the library. not even dial-up

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tekknyne

This sounds pretty awesome. Currently I'm on Verizon Mobile Broadband and the only saving-grace is that we grandfathered in through Alltel and have unlimited data. My latencies aren't terrible, but the max throughput I can get downloading is about 180Kb/s which is pretty crummy. Netflix runs on the lowest quality and still hangs up a few times each movie. I can't believe it's taken so long for a solution like this to come about.

Does anyone know what the latency would be like with this technology? I'd love to play World of Warcraft again with a better ping! On the Verizon card, it's really hard to do 25-man's, but 10-man's weren't too terrible -- maybe 200-400ms ping -- except when there were hiccups/lag and there always are.

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Holly Golightly

I do not know how bad or good the latency is with this new wifi, but I have mobile broadband too. The service I signed up with is Clearwire. I get about 65ms ping which is not as fast as any cable or fiber optic network, but it is damn fast for a mobile network. Much faster than the 200-400ms ping you are experiencing with Verizon Wireless. I make phone calls, watch videos, and even stream TV no questions asked. I am not sure what is best for you, but I recommend Clear for truly unlimited mobile broadband.

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tekknyne

Cool, sounds like it may be worth checking out.

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schwit

Mobile analyst Sascha Segan explains why it's incorrectly being dubbed as Super Wi-Fi:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2399447,00.asp

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Roll Tide

I hope that this actually catches on in CANADA! I have friends there who are paying through the nose for 200 kbps. Playing Team Fortress 2 with them is watching them join and and drop join and drop. Unfortunately the telecommunications infrastructure is lacking.

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Markitzero

I hope it catches on because I live in a rural area and there are places up were I am that can't even get Dial-up. so there only choices are Wireless or Satellite. My current ISP cost $56 at speeds of 5Mbps and it has a cap of 75GBs amonth so I have not been able to do the thing I want to do is NetFlix. The ISP I am on is the only decent wireless and low latency provider with 2-3ms to tower.

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Hey.That_Dude

Cool, but only if I get to use it personally. FTTH is the only way into the future.

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Holly Golightly

I feel that Super Wifi is Super Limited. 22mbps will become the next dial-up of next year... And then the complaints will start rolling in again. If cellphones work in these rural areas, they could get 4G speed with Clearwire or anybody who offers unlimited 4G speed over the air. My guess is that old analog TV white space will be useless... But I guess it could always turn on the floodlights... If there is still any electricity left to power them on. I say it was best when it was just plain 'ol TV.

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NVZBLT

Im really exited about this. In my area the only connections are dialup (wont even consider at 20/month), satelite that im using (70/month and say hello to 1600ms ping), 3G using cell phone towers and smart hub (5GB limit per month), and yes people actually use regular wifi over 20 miles to get internet out here (30/month 1GB limit per month).

In response to this "it's waaaaay slower than normal Wi-Fi to boot, with speeds up to 22 Mbps" thats per channel. with a range of 54mhz to 862mhz and each channel only taking aprox 6-8mhz band, thats alot of possible channels and potential bandwidth especially considering that in the nearest town to here the fastest connection on cable is 6Mbps.

give it a few years to mature and you will see this technology have some pretty insane speeds.

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Keith E. Whisman

I can see wives having their husbands touching the antennas just right to get that perfect signal. At least we will be able to put those big aerial antennas some people still have on their roof.
"The, there, don't move"

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w2ed

I think as long as some major players get behind this and they don't try to fork the customers the way other ISPs, Cable and Phone has, it could be a big win. (I also think it will need a new logo - even if DC Comics okays this one, the graphics work needs to be touched up. Or was the black from the wi-fi logo supposed to come up underneath the superman logo?)

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CentiZen

...that isn't the official logo. That's a quickly photoshopped picture the author of the article made so he could post this with a picture

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AndrewHume1

How the hell will routers transmit 62 miles? I get a broadcast tower but a domestic router? sounds like an invitation to packet sniffing if you ask me...

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CentiZen

You won't be using any current domestic routers with this protocol. People will need to use the providers hardware to gain access to this data stream, which I am assuming will probobly be more akin to putting an antenna or dish on your roof or something to that effect.

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compro01

I would guess the 62 mile figure assumes a pretty directional antenna.

I personally get internet from a tower 30 miles away and it can reach a bunch further than that.

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tony2tonez

I'm sure this will be a paid service, but who is the provider? Because if its only one tv company some people could still lose out.

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compro01

It's being run by a new bunch called Spectrum Bridge.

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