CivSource has been following the evolution of major trials in TV White Space Broadband (TVWS) since they first started gaining traction with regulators. The technology relies on the use of empty TV channels to transmit data over long, or geographically challenging distances. Proponents of the technology say that it could be a game changer for rural populations where it is difficult to bring fiber to the home. Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a component of this technology built by Carlson Wireless. Carlson has been part of major international TVWS trials over the past few years.
The FCC has certified the company’s RuralConnect TV white space (TVWS) radio system for use with the Spectrum Bridge TV white spaces database. This certification brings to market the world’s first affordable long-distance, non-line-of-site (NLOS) fixed wireless broadband system.
Designed using flexible software-defined architecture and dynamic spectrum sharing, RuralConnect is authorized to transmit over “white spaces” in the UHF TV band (470-698 MHz), the unused frequencies between licensed television broadcasters opened by the FCC in 2010 for unlicensed public use. TVWS also expands the capability of businesses and governments needing to extend their communications and private networks, such as data monitoring and control for utilities, oil & gas operations, resource management, public safety, video surveillance, and VoIP networks.
RuralConnect has operated for the last three years in more than 58 trial deployments both domestically and internationally, including a successful trial with Google and others in 2013 with schools in Cape Town, South Africa.
“Providing connectivity to underserved populations worldwide is more than an interest to us. It’s our corporate mission,” said Jim Carlson, CEO Carlson Wireless.