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Why White Space is Needed - Satellite Internet

How do you access the Internet in rural areas that are not serviced by dialup and broadband Internet companies? Wi-Fi is an option, but this comes with a highly limited coverage. Satellite Internet is possibly your best bet at present, but the future can promise a new and possibly better option with white space Internet.

What is White Space?
The 700-MHz spectrum was originally used for transmitting analog signals for radio and television. Analog signals, however, not only consume greater “space” but in terms of audio-visual quality, they also play second fiddle to digital transmission. Thus, the gradual move of radio and TV networks to digital broadcasting began.

Radio and TV Out, Internet Goes In
As radio and TV networks abandon the 700-MHz spectrum step by step, that particular range will be left unoccupied…but not for long. Google, in particular, had been very vocal in their petition to allow unlicensed developers to make use of “free white space”. Other companies that support this move include the likes of Motorola, Intel, and Microsoft.

Late last year, the Federal Communications Commission finally made their decision with a five-zero vote in favor of conditional unlicensed use of the 700-MHz spectrum.

The Possibilities
Once white space comes to play, people can expect a number of new advantages to enjoy. Firstly, wireless access offered by white space Internet is a marked improvement over what people have to make do with Wi-Fi. Thanks to longer data ranges, wireless Internet access need not be limited to a specified area and connection is faster, too. It’s why Larry Page, co-founder of Google, refers to white space as having “Wi-Fi on steroids”.

White space will also allow users to enjoy more bandwidth in time. Greater bandwidth access is much more in demand nowadays as people use the Internet not only for downloading but also for video streaming of their favorite movies and missed TV episodes.

White Space Today
At present, not many changes had been done as no substantial work may be performed until radio and TV had totally and completely made the switch to digital transmission. White space is expected to be available by the first half of 2009 but development of actual Internet access using white space may take more time.

Meanwhile, your best bet for obtaining Internet access in rural areas would be broadband Internet or satellite Internet. Globalcom’s broadband connection is subjected to limited coverage while HughesNet’s satellite Internet subscription plans is available in all forty-eight states.

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