Map shows possible TV white-space coverage zones for 16,500+ libraries

An interactive online map from the Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN) shows prospective TV white space (TVWS) coverage zones for the more than 16,500 U.S. public libraries, which the GLN is using to make a pitch for including such facilities in upcoming rural broadband experiments authorized by the FCC.

The map was created using coordinates in a database of public library facilities provided by the Institute for Museum and Libraries Services (IMLS). It shows how each facility could be used as a TVWS base station hub, providing expanded wireless broadband coverage areas to "satellite" library Wi-Fi hotspots up to 10 miles away, which would be supported via wireless backhaul using TVWS equipment. Using this design, those patrons who rely on public libraries to provide broadband access would no longer be required to be inside or beside the facilities to get service.

GLN hopes its interactive map will "support planning by anyone from the FCC to commercial providers to individual libraries exploring ways to incorporate TVWS capabilities into their overall connectivity strategies," said Don Means, GLN project director. "Libraries, schools and other anchor institutions deploying TVWS seem to offer a perfect fit with the FCC's upcoming rural broadband trials program," he added.

The FCC announced the rural broadband experiments program on Jan. 30, soliciting providers to submit proposals regarding ways to provide IP-based alternatives to existing services in discrete geographic areas or situations.

A year ago, the GLN began soliciting interest from public libraries interested in leveraging TVWS spectrum to extend their reach to more locations. In October 2013, more than a dozen libraries and library consortia in six states began deploying TVWS devices. GLN announced in February 2014 that it was also planning TVWS pilot projects in the Philippines, Finland and Malaysia.

For more:
- see this GLN release

Related articles:
FCC dedicates $2B to equip schools, libraries with Wi-Fi
FCC's E-Rate program dedicates $450M to support broadband in schools, libraries
ITU pursues best practices for cognitive radio, TV white space
TV white space touted for use by public libraries

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