A partnership between Google, Microsoft, and more than 500 colleges and universities may provide broadband access to rural America via Super Wi-Fi.  The partnership is seeking to create wireless networks that will provide ~10Mbps channels to areas with radii of about 10km.

A partnership between Google, Microsoft, and more than 500 colleges and universities may provide broadband access to rural America via Super Wi-Fi.  The partnership is seeking to create wireless networks that will provide ~10Mbps channels to areas with radii of about 10km. 

Super Wi-Fi will utilize spectrums that were once used by broadcasters before the adoption digital signals.  The FCC will mostly likely auction off the abandoned spectrums in the near future, and if the Super Wi-Fi project is successful then the project will cement itself as one of the main bidder for the open waves. 

The Super Wi-Fi supporters may meet some competition in the future from cellular carriers who want to build upon their stash of FCC approved bands.

Competition for the spectrums is one thing, but creating a huge wireless network also requires huge investments to create the backhauls for the networks.  Each of the proposed channels (previously TV channels) can theoretically provide about 22Mbps, and the underlying intent is to use as many channels as possible to provide fast broadband service. 

There are no confirmation as to how much the partnership is willing to invest in the project, but for the project to take off it requires more than just an initial investment.  People will have to be willing to pay for the service which will most likely include additional fees for the construction and maintenance of the backhauls. 

A significant drawback of a huge wireless network is the quality of a connection is also dependent on the geographic nature of a region.  Water, natural barriers, and man-made elements will all play big roles in how much investment is needed in the backhauls. 

Bringing about broadband service via abandoned spectrums is quite ambitious, but anything can be accomplished with the right amount of money.

Source: gigaom.com