Thursday, November 06, 2008

What the new wireless ruling may mean to your school

Wired reported on the new FCC ruling that allows for unused TV spectrum to be used for any wireless device. This ruling allows unregulated devices, such as wireless access points and cordless phones, to greatly improve their range and signal power. It also means that signals might have been stopped by a wall or building may well go pass through.

WiMax is/was supposed to do these things, but has yet to show up in the market. On the surface, the TV spectrum that was sold off to Verizon for 4 billion is much better bandwidth. But, what the Internet has consistently demonstrated is that an open platform is more desirable than a closed platform even when the closed platform is technically better.

What this means for your school is that making your school wireless will be even easier than it is now. Currently, you have to play a game of how many access points are needed to cover the entire space yet not interfere with one another. The new systems may be powerful enough to have one unit cover the entire building.

Another thing it means is that a school might be able to provide a connection to the school for all the students living in the community. That's a service that schools are well position to offer given that students are either in the building or at home. The total bandwidth for the school needs not increase because the work is only transferred from the school to the home.


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