Houston grandmother Leticia Aguirre began hosting what’s believed to be the nation’s first residential “Super Wi-Fi” hot spot this month. Super Wi-Fi, a long-range, wall-piercing version of Wi-Fi that is broadcast on unused TV channels, could be a boon for both rural and urban residents who lack broadband access. Credit: Jade Boyd/Rice University
When the Federal Communications Commission worked out the rules last fall to convert unused TV channels for a new long-range, wall-piercing version of Wi-Fi, Houston resident Leticia Aguirre had no way of knowing that she’d host the nation’s first residential “Super Wi-Fi” hot spot.
“We have federal support from the National Science Foundation to develop this technology in an open-source way,” said Rice’s Edward Knightly, professor in electrical and computer engineering, whose research group built the prototype Super Wi-Fi equipment that Aguirre is using. “Ultimately, we want to develop this technology in such a way that it benefits the most people by accessing the right spectrum for the right users. Having Mrs. Aguirre as our first user really shows the potential benefits for people who’ve been underserved with traditional broadband.”
Patrick Anderson adds:
Here is the TFA homepage. They received $9.6 Million grant from the National Telecommunications
Infrastructure Administration (NTIA) September, 2010. I wonder who really owns and controls TFA…
William S. Reed, D.Min. as the President & CEO — shows he has worked on the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee Working Group on Rural and Underserved Populations. Representing TFA, he serves on the
Technology Infrastructure Task Force of the Greater Houston Partnership, among other things. He co-authored “Developing and deploying multihop wireless networks for low-income communities (2005)” —
Phi Beta Iota: Universities in the USA have prostituted themselves to commercial interests in the past two decades, but in recent years there has been a discernible return of ethics to some of them. The first to break back were those inventing pharmaceuticals and insisting on holding the patents open for generic exploitation in the Third World (one reason the US pays 100X more, Congress mandated “no negotiation” of price, a corrupt decision if there ever was one). Now we see innovation in the public interest in wireless. This is a very good thing. Free Internet access–and an Autonomous Internet–are essential to creating a prosperous world at peace.
Tip of the Hatt to Sepp Hasslberger at Google Group Next Net