Remember white space? Given its tortured history, no one would blame you from exorcising it from your mind. But now thanks to Google and Spectrum Bridge, there’s reason to be optimistic. Suffice it to say, early trials in Northern California’s Plumas-Sierra county are encouraging. For more about their white space networking technology, and its potential impact on the smart grid market, be sure to check out Katie Fehrenbacher’s latest Long View (subscription required).
Today Google (s GOOG) and startup Spectrum Bridge are announcing that they have created the first ever smart grid deployment over white space, working with the utility Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative & Telecommunications in the tiny county of Plumas-Sierra in Northern California.
Microsoft (s msft) researchers have taken the next step toward turning old UHF analog TV spectrum into rural wireless broadband networks that would operate like Wi-Fi but with greater range, bypassing incumbent Internet providers like AT&T (s T) in the process. “Imagine the potential if you could connect to your home [Internet] router from up to a mile,” Ranveer Chandra, a Microsoft researcher, told MIT’s Technology Review in an article posted today.
Working with researchers at Harvard University, Microsoft developed a set of protocols for wireless Internet networks using “white space,” the unlicensed spectrum previously used for broadcast television signals, in a manner similar to today’s Wi-Fi systems. They call it “White-Fi.” Read More about Microsoft Makes White-Spaces Breakthrough for Rural Broadband