Thursday, September 23, 2010

Opening Up New Lanes on the Information Superhighway

The FCC is going ahead with the plan to open up unused television signals for broadband Internet. The plan, which was first approved more than two years ago, is very similar in concept to adding extra lanes to a freeway in order to relieve congestion.

On Thursday the 24th of September, the five members of the FCC voted unanimously to give broadband networks access to the bandwidth channels that exist between TV stations and are commonly known as "white spaces." The agency has dubbed the new technology "super Wi-Fi," and has high hopes for the technology. FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, has said that the new white space networks will form a "powerful platform for innovation."

Apparently the FCC aren't the only ones who are excited about the possibility of increased bandwidth and better traffic flow on the Internet. Tech giants like Google, Microsoft and Dell are also enthusiastic about developing a new market centered on the technology.

Just as freeway expansion projects are meant to ease traffic congestion, the FCC hopes the new white space networks will similarly ease congestion on the nation's increasingly bottle necked airwaves.

Like the bandwidth spectrum currently utilized for Wi-Fi, the new white space lanes will be available to users for free with no licensing fee required.

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