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Communications The Internet Wireless Networking Hardware

Internet Hardware For White-Space Spectrum? 36

Posted by timothy
from the where-are-the-software-configurable-radios? dept.
g2 in the desert writes "I live in a small rural community in the US Southwest, where broadband service varies from decent but very expensive, to lousy but less expensive. Now that the Federal Communications Commission has approved the use of the soon to be vacated White-Space Spectrum, I'm interested in helping the community build its own local Internet service, providing villagers another choice. Does anyone know what companies will be manufacturing hardware that will be required to utilize this spectrum, and what steps need to be taken in order to be in compliance with any FCC rules and regulations?"
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Internet Hardware For White-Space Spectrum?

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  • by NotNormallyNormal (1311339) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @03:00PM (#27762669)

    Seems the big ISPs don't really want your kind in the broadband business [slashdot.org]. Watch what happens when good ideas meet greed - i.e. Greenlight [greenlightnc.com] providing competition [dailytech.com] to the greedy last mile ISPs.

    All I have to say is - good luck!

    • Mod Parent Down (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Seems the big ISPs don't really want your kind in the broadband business [slashdot.org]. Watch what happens when good ideas meet greed - i.e. Greenlight [greenlightnc.com] providing competition [dailytech.com] to the greedy last mile ISPs.

      All I have to say is - good luck!

      Interesting? How did that help the person or answer any questions at all? What an extremely shitty defeatist attitude.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Anyone considering developing their own community-driven ISP should be aware of the ongoing struggles these kinds of enterprises are facing, and the ends to which big media will go to stop them from cutting into their profits (such as push-polling).

        Mod root up, the internet is serious business.

        • I don't understand how. As it is many companies are complaining that they "can"t make money on the internet" and others are complaining about how they are "losing money on internet ventures".

          -Oz
      • It may seem defeatist to you, A.C., but it is important to understand the marketplace when starting a new business. While I applaud his efforts and back him 100% in trying to provide something useful to the locals, you have to understand how your business is going to function in its environment. Good ideas, while the basis of entrepreneurship, aren't all that's required. Many businesses have been sunk over the years by bigger or monetarily stronger companies who do they same job (more or less) but in a shod

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @03:02PM (#27762691)

    "... Does anyone know what companies will be manufacturing hardware that will be required to utilize this spectrum, and what steps need to be taken in order to be in compliance with any FCC rules and regulations?"

    Yeah, I know what you need. Palm Grease. Industrial-grade Palm Grease. You can order it directly from AIG in 55-gallon drums.

    I hear the OEM is General Motors, so you might get a discount going directly to the manufacturer.

    Seems to work damn well as bailout lubricant too. Just FYI, in case your idea starts to go south...

    • by tepples (727027)

      Yeah, I know what you need. Palm Grease. Industrial-grade Palm Grease. You can order it directly from AIG in 55-gallon drums.

      I hear the OEM is General Motors

      I thought the manufacturer of palm grease was Johnson & Johnson [wikipedia.org].

  • WISPA (Score:5, Informative)

    by Flimzy (657419) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @03:04PM (#27762715)
    I'm sure the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA -- http://www.wispa.org/ [wispa.org]) will be an invaluable resource for you. If they don't have the answers you seek already, they probably will as soon as they become available.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ask Again Later

  • Airspan WiMAX (Score:2, Insightful)

    by beirutbob (1002743)
    Airspan makes a WiMAX unit that operates in the 700mhz band (google airspan 700mhz). I have not used it, but it is available. I think the bigger problem is actually getting the license, unless you can lease it from an existing license holder. From what I understand, the license is very expensive and has a lot of strings attached (ie coverage requirements).

    Does anyone here have any first hand knowledge of the 700mhz license?
    • Re:Airspan WiMAX (Score:4, Informative)

      by KeithIrwin (243301) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @03:42PM (#27763263)

      The poster was asking about the "white-space" which is the space between television channels. The FCC has recently approved its use without a license. This is not the same thing as the 700Mhz band.

      Your confusion is probably because the original poster described the space as "soon to be vacated" which is not an accurate way to describe the white-space. 700Mhz will be vacated soon, but must be licensed. White-space is already vacant and won't need to be licensed.

  • I found this [wispa.org]. It's a product release announcement.
  • Ubiquity (Score:3, Informative)

    by sxpert (139117) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @03:56PM (#27763447)

    Ubiquity makes hardware that you may find useful

    see http://www.ubnt.com/ [ubnt.com]

    • by charlesnw (843045)
      Your right. They make excellent gear. I have a nanostation2. The general consensus is that UBNT will be the first to provide TVWS gear. I definitely plan to get some when it becomes available.
  • by Daa (9883)
    At this point no one is making 400-700 Mhz hardware, and the required database for the fixed stations is not designed, much less in operation. Google and others have a working group that is working on a design spec for the database but they are not done and the FCC has not indicated if they will use the spec that Google etal come up with. Once a spec is approved then the database system has to be created and deployed before the first stations can be sold. I expect it will be 6 mo. to a year till the pieces
  • What will most likely go into that space are 802.22 WRAN devices, so look for manufacturers that are claiming to be working in this area. The problem is that the 802.22 isn't finalized, so as the previous poster states, its a little soon to know who the players are. However, a good guess would be the members of the white space coalition: Adaptrum, I2R, Microsoft, Motorola, and Phillips.
  • I'm interested in helping the community build its own local Internet service, providing villagers another choice.

    It sounds as if you have at least two established, viable, commercial competitors in a very small market.

    If they are DSL or cable, then they are almost certainly offering bundled services that you are not going to be able to provide.

    I think you need to sit back, relax, wait and see how small-scale projects in the 700 MHz band fare elsewhere.

  • by willzzz (701172) on Wednesday April 29, 2009 @06:30PM (#27765353)
    I'll let others comment on the hardware and business plans but the problem with rural inherently is that cost of delivering bandwidth from a major city/internet POP to your rural location ala backhaul. Bandwidth is EXPENSIVE when purchased in a rural location unless you have the big $$$ to operate your own fiber backhaul or a wavelength of existing fiber from the POP to your location. It really depends on how rural the location is. You really need to consider the costs and oversell ratio if you're going to do this. Try asking here btw: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/wisp [dslreports.com] In rural areas the ILEC setup is usually the minimum unless the CO has been setup for DSL/higher bandwidth services meaning it's usually only TDM based. The ILEC has to share the resources with the federally required voice service. And if they haven't deployed broadband out of the CO already then it's not profitable for them. This eventually most likely with the ILEC telling you a very high bandwidth costs and even higher if there's fiber/equipment buildout costs needed. If you're in a rural but not-so-rural location and can do wireless backhaul for the bandwidth (microwave) then you can lessen your costs that way. This is all based on what I read online. Good luck btw.
  • If you plan on a municipality/federal government doing some kind of funding, which is available currently via the RUS grants through the FDA's website, you might well take 2-3 years to get it rolling. If you have funding from other sources, go for it! I actually started a WISP in the "Southwest" (Arizona) back in 2001 and it did well, but bandwidth costs were prohibitive. I sold out to a local Cell phone company and they still use the infrastructure we built out, but they could better afford the bandwidt
  • Knowledgeable people in the wireless ISP industry say whitespaces gear won't be available for at least another year. If it works out as expected, you would just buy it and use it, similar to today's wifi gear. It would require an Internet connection, to lookup the available channels database (daily) in your location.

    As an alternative available today, you might consider the WISP 3650Mhz spectrum. The license for that costs $210. A brand I have looked at is Tranzeo, they sell Wimax gear in that frequency. (ab

  • Or maybe you can get a really good deal on all the dead solar powered poles on every other street corner in about a 1/3 of my suburb of Saint Louis Park, MN. It's an officially dead project. Something in the applied math. They never were able to get decent and reliable throughput in the quadrant that went live tests.

  • I have seen several projects operate in similar situations using wireless technology in rural environments. I have no idea what spectrum the wirless operated on, however it need not matter. I don't expect this information to be of too much help, but here it is.

    First, I must emphasize the point made by many previous posters that you need to do your homework. Examine the costs involved in starting such a company. Examine the competition closely, and compare it to your potential to make profits and essentia

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