Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Super Wi-Fi proposal

From page A5 | February 18, 2013 |


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 databases 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 to 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.

Pollock Pines



Letters to the Editor



District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3

Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3



My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4



Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Comments sign-in policy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Save the Guinea Worm

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Private property gets no respect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

District 2 supervisorial special election

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments



Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8



Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5

Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5



Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2



Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate




Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17