“Super Wi-Fi” devices could launch in early 2011

Posted 14 September 2010 09:48 CET by wconeybeer

A new type of “super Wi-Fi” networking standard could be available by early next year if approved by the Federal Communication Commission.

The FCC will be voting next week on whether to allow the utilization of the white space portion of the television broadcast spectrum. Approval of the motion could pave the way for new so-called “super Wi-Fi” devices as soon as early next year.

These new devices would be capable of transmitting the Wi-Fi signal over a potential range of several miles, rather than just hundreds of feet, would not be interrupted by walls and other obstructions, and would be as fast as today’s broadband and DSL connections.

Some television networks and other businesses that rely on transmitting their own signals have been opposed to the plan due to interference concerns. Because of this, the FCC has been working on plans that would track frequencies in use in specific areas so that any devices configured to operate within the white space could be programmed to avoid them.

Some argue, however, that the world is not yet ready for a “super Wi-Fi”, because we have enough problems dealing with Wi-Fi network security as it is. Opponents say that this white space spectrum long-range signal would make security even more of a challenge, which businesses and individuals alike may not be able to handle.

Others say that the entire plan is not at all feasible, and may even be physically impossible.

I know that I would love to be able to set up an access point at my house that I could reach over a few miles radius, but I already have a Mi-Fi card that does that. If “Super Wi-Fi” is a possibility at all, I’m just not sure that there’s really a need for it considering all of the other options we have.

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