David Kirkpatrick

September 7, 2010

Net neutrality and the FCC …

… a lot of talk (a whole lot of talk) and no action.

October 22, 2009

Wireless broadband over television spectrum

Also known as a “white space” network. This tech is now a a reality in Virginia.

From the link:

Wireless technology that’s been touted as the best hope for providing high-speed Internet access to rural communities is about to get its first true test. The first “white space” wireless network will use unused portions of TV spectrum to distribute broadband access to residents of Claudville, VA.

Advocates for rural broadband say that high-speed Internet access is needed to improve healthcare and education in isolated communities. Others simply don’t want their communities left behind while urban areas access ever more services over the Internet.

But bringing broadband to rural areas is easier said than done. Roger Hayden, director of the Claudville Computer Center and chairman of the Patrick County Broadband Task Force, said at a press conference Wednesday that in 2004, he called every carrier he could find, and none was willing to deliver a high-speed wired Internet service to Claudville. In the years since, local officials have been looking for another way to get better access.

October 3, 2008

Wireless at 10gbs — yes, gigabits per second

That is one smoking wirless connection.

From the Technology Review link:

There’s no shortage of demand for faster wireless, but today’s fastest technologies–Wi-Fi, 3G cellular networks, and even the upcoming WiMax–max out at tens or hundreds of megabits per second. So far, no commercial wireless system can beat the raw speed of optical fiber, which can carry tens of gigabits per second.

One way to achieve faster speeds is to harness the millimeter-wavelength frequency of the wireless spectrum, although this usually requires expensive and very complex equipment. Now, engineers at Battelle, a research and development firm based in Columbus, OH, have come up with a simpler way to send data through the air with millimeter-wave technology. Earlier this year, in field tests of a prototype point-to-point system, the team was able to send a 10.6-gigabit-per-second signal between antennas 800 meters apart. And more recently, the researchers demonstrated a 20-gigabit-per-second signal in the lab.

June 26, 2008

Broadband, the US and the future

The New America Foundation — a think tank self-described as investing in, “new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of critical challenges facing the United States” — hosted a forum on broadband in the US.

Here’s a quick description from an email I received from the group:

On Monday New America’s Wireless Future Program hosted a policy forum highlighting the critical need for developing an affirmative national broadband strategy to keep the U.S. prosperous in the 21st Century.  We also released a new Issue Brief, by NAF’s Benjamin Lennett, that explains how unlicensed access to TV band ‘white space’ will give a big boost to rural broadband.  

Here’s a link to a PDF of the report’s executive summary.

Update — this post was initially only going to cover the NAF forum, but here’s some interesting broadband news via KurzweilAI.net:

Time reversal allows wireless broadband under the sea
New Scientist news service, June 25, 2008

Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and NATO Undersea Research Center have developed an “acoustic time reversal” technique that boosts underwater wireless broadband speed by up to three times, or extends the range up to 3500 km.

The system compensates for reduced signal/noise ratio due to phase-delay artifacts from surface and sea-bottom echoes. A receiver first transmits an acoustic carrier signal. The sender then time-reverses what they receive, and also modulates the signal to carry a message.

 
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