« BWIA Things I Wish For | Main | Ubiquiti Networks Fires The Bullet, A Tiny Inline Outdoor BWIA Radio »

October 23, 2008


Charles Brown

Hi Steve,

I was wondering about your views of aggregate bandwidth capability for providing what could legitimately be called "broadband" over the 6MHz channels in the white spaces. I never see that topic discussed anywhere either. What do you think we are we talking about here in terms of BWIA?

I take your point about "increments" in regulatory matters, but I would like to remind that the Part 15.247 rules were pushed from being visionary, infrastructure class BWIA in 1985 to short-range WLAN devices, especially with regard to the power rules. To my mind, this was hardly positive "regulatory evolution" even it did result in new technology development within the confines of 802.11. One could argue the opposite point, i.e., what could we have seen in product development and alternative access infrastructure had the original vision of 15.247 prevailed in its original form? It seems to me that this is a history lesson worth noting as well.

Steve replies:

Charles - agreed that 15.247 could have been so much more. Our mutual colleague Dewayne Hendricks has educated me about how much grander was the original vision than what actually came to be allowed. But, politics... and the FCC is all about politics... has been called "the art of the possible" and I think that applies to 15.247. It's taken decades longer than we hoped to see some of the real potential of license-exempt spectrum usage, but it's finally happening.

As for white spaces... well... 15 years or so ago, Alvarion was able to achieve 3 bits/Hz - a FHSS system that achieved 3 Mbps in a 1 MHz channel. That's old technology now, but even using a conservative 5 MHz channel to provide for some guard bands, that's a potential 15 Mbps. And, there's nothing to prevent systems from aggregating adjacent channels, so you really aren't "stuck" with "just" a mere 6 MHz channel.

The comments to this entry are closed.

  • About Steve Stroh

    In 1996, I was fascinated to discover that providing Internet Access via license-exempt wireless technologies was not only possible, but being done routinely by a small band of pioneering Internet Service Providers.

    By mid-1997, I was writing professionally about Broadband Wireless Internet Access (BWIA) as a monthly columnist in Boardwatch Magazine.

    In 2000, I began writing about BWIA full time in my own blogs, for numerous other publications, and my own subscription newsletter.

    From 2008 - 2015, I took a hiatus from writing about BWIA, but my interest in BWIA did not wane. From 2016 - 2020 I worked to resume writing full time.

    More on my bio page.

    Send me email

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 12/2006