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Gigabit Libraries Net Pilots National Wi-Fi

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7/15/2013
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Today the Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN) announced an open call to participate in a national pilot program to explore uses for newly available unlicensed spectrum called Super Wi-Fi or White Space to support remote library wi-fi hotspots in their communities.

Unlike traditional wi-fi, Super Wi-Fi (though currently capable of less data throughput) has advantages both in a range measured in miles and in its ability to pass through walls, tree and other obstructions. And yet like wi-fi, Super Wi-Fi is also unlicensed radio spectrum, open and available to anyone with certified equipment to use with no fees or permissions attached.

This new resource could have dramatic impact similar to that of wi-fi itself, once considered throwaway “junk” spectrum, now essential technology supporting 5 billion devices worldwide.

After ten years in development, the FCC has only recently certified the equipment and services necessary for market deployment to begin. “Public Libraries seem ideally situated to take a national leadership role in evaluating the capabilities and limitations of Super Wi-Fi technologies for potential benefit to the 10‘s of millions of patrons already depending on wireless access from their libraries,” says Don Means, GLN Coordinator.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

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