Houston leads way in launching 'super WiFi'

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1st hot spot in U.S. opens Web to disadvantaged

From The Article:
As its name suggests, super WiFi has created a buzz in the technology community, with providers scrambling to determine how best to use the valuable new WiFi spectrum.

With money from the National Science Foundation, Edward Knightly, a computer engineer at Rice, was able to build prototype equipment this winter and create Houston's first super WiFi hot spot a few weeks ago. He believes it is the first such hot spot in the nation.

"This is an early trial," he said. "We're still trying to determine the ideal use for the technology."..

...But there are drawbacks as well. The amount of spectrum available between digital TV stations is smaller than the segment reserved for traditional WiFi, so there's limited bandwidth, especially in urban areas with more broadcast TV stations.

That's why Knightly and others believe the technology may see its widest applicability in rural areas.

Will Reed, president of Technology For All, said he's working with about 70 public computer sites in Texas to eventually distribute the technology, including rural areas such as Duval County in South Texas.

"It's a huge opportunity," Reed said. "You can really blast the signals a long way. I think it will work really well in rural populations where it would be very expensive to run wires to."
Read More: Houston gets nation's first 'super WiFi' hot spot: Pecan Park | Technology News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
 
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