Monday, April 21, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Save your rabbit ears and tinfoil

EDITOR: A recent Mountain Democrat editorial discussed “Super Wi-Fi.” It quoted a Washington Post article that stated, “The federal government wants to create Super Wi-Fi networks across the nation.” That leaves the impression the feds will build and operate networks for computers and cell phones to use free of charge. That is not what the FCC is proposing.

Instead the FCC is proposing the use of certain airwave frequencies without a license. Under the old analog TV system there was “white space” left between the frequencies used by each TV channel. The “white space” was wasted spectrum but was needed to prevent interference between adjacent channels. The newer digital TV system uses the airwave spectrum more precisely and this “white space” is no longer needed. Over a decade ago the FCC began to propose the use of these frequencies as unlicensed spectrum.

Setting aside frequencies for unlicensed use is nothing new. Most people probably have at least one device that uses unlicensed frequencies. Examples are CB radios, walkie-talkies, Wi-Fi computer routers, cordless phones, microwave ovens, Bluetooth headsets, etc. In recent years there have been companies that use certain unlicensed frequencies to provide wireless Internet in rural areas.

What is different is that the proposed frequencies are very good at going long distances and getting through trees and buildings. This would be of great advantage in providing wireless Internet in rural, wooded areas.

As pointed out in the editorial, large telecommunications companies want the FCC to instead auction off the spectrum for licensed use. You would then pay them to use it. They have a considerable amount of political clout. What has prevented this from happening so far is that other companies such as Google and Microsoft have been lobbying to have the frequencies unlicensed. Microsoft of course has it’s own motives. It wants an FCC contract to manage the data bases that would be like airwave traffic controllers to avoid interference.

So what we have is a bunch of goliaths fighting another bunch of goliaths. Who will win is uncertain.

It might be best to hang onto that old TV antenna. Who knows, in a few years maybe you can point it to a local Super Wi-Fi hotspot miles away and get high-speed Internet. But someone will have build that hot spot and provide a connection to the Internet.

In the meantime, don’t expect the feds to come in and put up a bunch of towers to provide free Super Wi-Fi.

TOM DeVILLE
Pollock Pines

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 13 comments

  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 17, 2013 - 11:30 am

    BREAKING - POSSIBLE PROOF OF A PARALLEL MULTIVERSE/UNIVERSE - LINK - Super Wi-Fi proposal

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 17, 2013 - 7:53 pm

    astonishing trick! same letter published twice in same paper - Hypothesis: TOM DeVILLE = nom de plume of John Garon?

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  • EvelynFebruary 17, 2013 - 8:56 pm

    Nope.

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  • James E.February 17, 2013 - 11:07 pm

    Phil, no, not the same in my opinion as Tom and John have different speech patterns.

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 18, 2013 - 7:18 am

    James, but that means that there have been no "Garons" for ages . . . two weeks now?

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  • James E.February 18, 2013 - 9:43 am

    Phil, it appears Mr. Garon does not write weekly letters. You will just have to savor his letters when they appear.

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  • Phil VeerkampFebruary 18, 2013 - 9:50 am

    Right, James. - That still leaves me slightly embarrassed over only one of Tom's letters appearing in hard copy. I thought I was catching the MD is careless double posting. Silly me!

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  • EvelynFebruary 18, 2013 - 9:58 am

    Certainly Tom DeVille -- ACTUAL Pollock Pines resident -- won't consider filing charges over the unintended misidentification.

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  • James E.February 18, 2013 - 10:33 am

    Phil, you mention being silly -- I've been watching a bunch of British TV lately, and the Brits would call you a silly sausage. I have no idea what that means.

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  • EvelynJuly 24, 2013 - 6:45 am

    "Student Science Experiment Finds Plants Won’t Grow Near Wi-fi Router" - HERE

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 24, 2013 - 7:00 am

    OK. You have my attention. When I get back from Yellowstone I will attempt to reproduce the results with "chia" seed by router. . . . bookmarked . . . stay tuned.

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  • DB SmithJuly 24, 2013 - 8:17 am

    Phil, Bear spray on the walking trails and maintaining a safe distance from the Bison should see you home safely so you can conduct your experiment. Stay safe and have a great fandamntastic time.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 24, 2013 - 8:31 am

    HEY, DB! - Yep. gathering from Michigan, Missouri, Wyoming, California ~~~ in search of Yogi and friends ~~~ conservative conclave (exceptions allowed - on good behavior . . . )

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