Originally published: August 8, 2014
Last updated: August 8, 2014 - 1:52pm
Google, Microsoft and Facebook are cranking up an emerging wireless technology known as Wi-FAR to help reduce the digital divide in remote and unconnected regions of the world.
Wi-FAR is a recently trademarked name from the nonprofit WhiteSpace Alliance (WSA) that refers to the 802.22 wireless standard first approved by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2011. The standard shares the underused TV band of spectrum called whitespace to send wireless signals, typically over distances of six to 18 miles in rural and remote areas.
For an impoverished or sparsely populated region where businesses and schoolchildren have little Internet access, Wi-FAR could be a godsend when used to link base stations (typically found at the ground level of cell towers) in a distributed network.
- Tech, TV vie for unused airwaves
- Microsoft: Africa TV White Spaces Broadband Network is World’s Largest
- For TV ‘White Spaces,' the Global Outlook Is Hopeful but Cautious
- Why We Need White Space Broadband
- FCC Cranks Up White-Spaces Testing
- White-Spaces Debate Hits Broadway
- FCC approves latecomer Microsoft as white-space database provider
- Ericsson pushes plan to send wireless apps over unlicensed 5GHz spectrum
- Developing nations to test new $150 laptops
- Wireless networks, apps gaining ground in unlikely places
- Mobile Broadband: The Single Greatest Opportunity
- TV group sees dark time if white space opened up
- Nokia Networks first to trial LTE for national TV broadcasting
- Microsoft Disputes FCC's Rejection of Web Devices That Use TV Airwaves
- Muni Wi-Fi hits wall of economic and political realities