From Ars Technica Superfast Wireless Broadband Device Prototype Submitted to FCC
The White Space Coalition is comprised of Dell, EarthLink, Google, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Philips Electronics, submitted a second prototype white space wireless broadband device to the FCC for testing.
The goal of the White Space Coalition is simple: take advantage of unused television spectrum to provide wireless broadband. Although analog television transmissions will cease in February 2009, digital TV signals will continue to use the spectrum between 2MHz and 698MHz.
They want to bring high-speed Internet access to consumers...over television airwaves. Idle TV channels, knows as "white space" can be used to deliver Internet into homes and offices.
That is a highly desirable chunk of spectrum because the signals can easily pass through walls and other solid objects, giving them a much greater reach than WiFi or even WiMAX, both of which operate in higher frequency bands.
White space devices could use the so-called white space in the current analog television spectrum (2MHz to 698MHz) to deliver wireless broadband service.
Former FCC chief engineer Edmond Thomas (and current technology policy advisor for the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, which is representing the Coalition) told Ars that he believes white space broadband could deliver download speeds of up to 80Mbps, which would make it extremely competitive with fiber-to-the-premises solutions like Verizon's FiOS networks.
It's proof-of-concept hardware intended to demonstrate that it's possible to sense the presence of TV signals and transmit wireless IP data in a way that does not interfere with TV.