IT innovation – WiFi over TV frequencies, new use for old

West Virginia University Flips Switch on “Super Wi-Fi” System

Morgantown, W.Va. — West Virginia University this week became the first university in the U.S. to flip the switch on a system that uses vacant broadcast TV channels to provide the campus with wireless broadband Internet services. The initial phase of the project, built in partnership with the Advanced Internet Regions (AIR.U) consortium, utilizes “TV white spaces” — frequencies left empty when television stations moved to digital broadcasting — to provide free public Wi-Fi access for students and faculty at tram platforms. The technology has been dubbed “Super Wi-Fi,” since TV band spectrum can allow networks to broadcast Wi-Fi connections over several miles, as well as through hilly and forested terrain. “This may well offer a solution for the many West Virginia communities where broadband access continues to be an issue,” said John Campbell, the CIO at West Virginia University.

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