Google eyes white space for wireless health

By Brian Dolan
03:05 pm
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wireless spectrumGoogle and Spectrum Bridge have outfitted a rural community hospital in Logan, Ohio with a WiFi and WiMAX network that runs over unused TV white spaces spectrum. The Hocking Valley Community Clinic has been trialling the white spaces-based network for the past year under a one-year study originally greenlit by the FCC back in 2008.

As noted in its National Broadband Plan, the FCC is keen to outfit rural healthcare facilities with wireless broadband. The TV White Spaces option could become a reality if the FCC finds the Hocking Valley trial to be successful.

"This is an exciting new deployment that demonstrates the potential of the TV white spaces to improve broadband and spark new applications in healthcare," Google's business operations project manager Larry Alder said in a statement. Google has long been a proponent of using the TV white spaces spectrum and has worked to demonstrate to the FCC that devices using white spaces spectrum will not interfere with television broadcasts or other transmissions on neighboring channels.

Hocking Valley has used the network for wireless data transfer from first responder’s vehicles; indoor broadband access, yielding enhanced connectivity throughout the hospital; and outdoor video surveillance to provide additional security for hospital operations.

According to a ZDNet report, come September 23 the FCC will look at the experiments that Spectrum Bridge and others have completed since 2008 and issue a final ruling sometime in the next six months on whether white space radios are fit for use.

Source: Google and Spectrum Bridge's press release

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