TV White Space Broadband Expands Through Libraries


The Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN), in partnership with San Jose State University’s School of Information (iSchool), will award nine TV White Space broadband projects as part of its “Beyond The Walls” awards.

Sponsorship for the campaign originated through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS): ”Libraries Leading in Digital Inclusion and Disaster Response via TV WhiteSpace Wireless Connections.” Five libraries in ME, GA, NE, SD and WA will receive awards under the IMLS grant.

These funds will underwrite the costs of equipment and installation for libraries who’ve initiated partnership projects with other community institutions to explore and develop innovative uses for TV WhiteSpace (TVWS) network technologies to support remote fixed and portable library access points at new locations in their communities starting this summer.

Like WiFi, TVWS units use free open spectrum, requiring no third party carriers, ongoing fees, licenses or other permissions for use as wide area intra-facility networks. But unlike WiFi, TVWS has long range and penetrative capabilities that can support broadband connections over miles and around or through obstructions like trees and buildings.

The winning libraries include –

–Millinocket Memorial Library, Millinocket, ME
–Twin Lakes Library System, Milledgeville, GA
–Beatrice Public Library, Beatrice, NE
–Huron Public Library, Huron, SD
–Yakama Nation Library, Toppenish, WA

One winning proposal from Beatrice, Nebraska gained support from the state CIO. The CIO’s office has convened an exploratory meeting to discuss TV White Space and it’s potential uses in K-20 education; agricultural research; telehealth; public safety and biological research in Nebraska.

Four additional projects will be funded with support from state, local and private sources. While the Beyond the Walls awards will support library led projects in almost every region of the country, Microsoft and the Library of Michigan have stepped up to provide additional support to enable three additional projects. Another library applicant from Pennsylvania has obtained local support, making nine total participating projects in seven states as of today’s announcement.

The additional participating libraries are Capital Area District Libraries, Lansing, MI; Otsego County Library, Otsego, MI; Superiorland Library Cooperative, Marquette, MI; Schlow Centre Region Library, State College, PA.