Wilmington, North Carolina, to Get "Super Wi-Fi"

Written by John Ponio    Friday, 27 January 2012 18:19

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Back around the whole switch from analog to digital TV, there was a big debate on what would happen with the now-open white space frequency. The FCC eventually decided to let it be used un-licensed, and Wilmington, North Carolina is taking advantage of that. They will be the first city to test out what is called "super Wi-Fi," which uses the white space to deliver wireless data connections that go farther and through more things. One of the big problem with current 2.4GHz Wi-Fi that we almost all use today is that its signal loses strength going through walls and outdoor objects like trees. This means that the signal can't go very far, which makes it not able to be used on a city-wide basis. The "super Wi-Fi" uses the previous analog television frequencies, which provide for a much better signal. The frequency is lower than what regular Wi-Fi uses, which means it penetrates walls and trees and such much better. Better penetration means a larger signal range, which will allow it to be used on a city-wide or larger basis. 

Wilmington is the first among many towns because it was an early adopter of the analog-digital change, which means they had more time to research using the white space for data transmission. Cambridge, MA, will soon follow, as well as other cities in the U.S., England, Canada, and Finland among others. To read more about the problems they had to overcome and how they overcame them, check out this article