New 802.22 Standard Delivers Long-Range Broadband Using TV "White Space"

Brad Chacos

If you're looking for relaxation, nothing beats living in the country. Even Steve Ballmer would chill out and unwind after spending a lazy day in the shade of a tree with nary a neighbor to be seen. Of course, rural living has a couple of downsides, too, not the least of which is poor broadband penetration. The IEEE wants to tackle that problem. Today, the group announced the publication of the 802.22 WiFi standard, which usurps the "white space" in analog TV frequencies to deliver high speeds over long ranges.

The new standard for wireless regional area networks is capable of providing up to 22Mbps per channel over a distance of 100km (or just about 63 miles). "This technology is especially useful for serving less densely populated areas, such as rural areas, and developing countries where most vacant TV channels can be found," the IEEE says in its press release .

How'd they do it? By taking advantage of the unused "white space" in traditional VHF and UHF TV frequencies. Those once-dead airwaves now hold the key to spreading high-speed broadband to the countryside. The standard has been carefully developed and should not interfere with television signals.

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