October 20, 2014

Public Libraries Across U.S. To Begin Testing “Super Wi-Fi” Technology

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The Gigabit Library Network (GLN) has announced that libraries from around the U.S. will begin testing super wi-fi technology during a four month trial.

Super wi-fi?

From the GLN Web Site:

Unlike traditional wifi, Super Wi-Fi (though currently capable of less data throughput) has advantages both in a range measured in miles and in its ability to pass through walls, tree and other obstructions. And yet like wifi, Super WiFi or TV White Space (TVWS) or simply WhiteSpace, is also unlicensed radio spectrum, open and available to anyone with certified equipment to use with no fees or permissions attached.

The pilot project will examine how integrating these two wireless communication technologies can benefit library users by combining the near universal compatibility of wifi with the range and penetrating capabilities of WhiteSpace equipment.

In July, we posted about a “super wi-fi” network getting started at the University of West Virginia. (Nations First College Campus “Super Wi-Fi” Network Launches at West Virginia University (July 10, 2013)

From Civic Source

More than 50 library systems and consortia submitted proposals from across the country. Of those 50, six are now getting equipment to start on their projects. These libraries will have TV White Space enabled remote access points on their “e-bookmobiles,” which will allow them to create public access points in their communities.

Participating libraries will have the option to purchase the gear used in the pilots at the end of trial. The first six states to have Whitespace enabled library wifi programs will be California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, and New Hampshire.

From the Lawrence Journal-World:

For four months, participating libraries will test TV White Space technology or “Super Wi-Fi,” which delivers Internet bandwidth across the same frequency used on analog televisions.

Streaming Internet over TV White Space allows Wi-Fi access to be beamed further distances to remote locations. Director of the Lawrence Public Library Brad Allen said participating in the pilot project will give the library an opportunity to explore the possibilities.

Participating Libraries

Additional Info

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.