A consortium of companies, led by Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and including BBC, British Sky Broadcasting and BT (NYSE: BT), will test a new "super WiFi" network that uses broadcasting white spaces for mobile broadband.
"The TV white spaces offer tremendous potential to extend the benefits of wireless connectivity to many more people in more locations through the creation of super WiFi networks," said Dan Reed, vice president of technology policy and strategy at Microsoft.
Calling spectrum a "finite resource," Reed pointed to the 300 MHz to 400 MHz of unused spectrum as a resource for broadband because it can travel long distances and penetrate walls.
"Spectrum is a finite natural resource," Reed said. "We can't make more and must use it efficiently and wisely."
Microsoft has been testing the technology on its Redmond, Wash. campus. The FCC in 2008 agreed to open the spectrum-which sits in slivers of unused 700 MHz bandwidth abandoned by broadcasters moving from analog to digital--for unlicensed use and supports the concept of building unlicensed super networks with it.
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BT: Tests using white space for rural broadband are 'very encouraging'
White-space opponents accuse Microsoft, Spectrum Bridge of violating experimental license rules