Google has been a strong advocate of white space wireless as democratizing broadband access: its long-range nature can bring people online when the local internet framework isn’t always reliable, if it exists at all. The company is about to illustrate that potential through a new trial in South Africa. A trio of base stations atStellenbosch University in Cape Town will supply ten nearby primary and secondary schools with internet access to prove that white space access can work without affecting TV signals. To make sure it won’t, Google is picking the safest frequencies from a database and is measuring the results for the sake of both nervous broadcasters and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa. If all goes well, it (and similar efforts from Microsoft) should make a case for full approval of white space use across the country and deliver internet access to remote areas that risk being left by the technological wayside.
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