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What is White Space Technology?

TV White Space refers to the unused TV channels between the active ones in the VHF and UHF spectrum. These are typically referred to as the “buffer” channels. In the past, these buffers were placed between active TV channels to protect broadcasting interference. It has since been researched and proven that this unused spectrum can be used to provide broadband Internet access while operating harmoniously with surrounding TV channels.


In 2010, the FCC made this highly effective yet underutilized spectrum available for unlicensed public use. With the use of a database manager and a White Space radio, these channels can be used to access broadband Internet connectivity.

Better coverage than WIFI

While a traditional Wi-Fi router has a relatively limited range, around 100 meters under perfect conditions, and can be blocked by walls or other environmental barriers, TV White Space technology can cover an expanse of about 10 kilometers in diameter (100 times the distance)! This breakthrough technology was nicknamed “Super Wi-Fi” because of its superior range and ability to penetrate obstacles such as trees, buildings and rough terrain.

Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) Performance

Microwave links require line-of-sight (LOS) between the points being connected. In areas with rugged or forested terrain, the tall towers necessary to provide this line-of-sight connection make microwave an expensive and unfeasible solution. TV White Space technology provides an effective alternative to microwave by utilizing the lower-frequency UHF signals that can penetrate obstacles and cover uneven ground without requiring additional infrastructure.

A New Broadband Possibility – Connecting More People

As we become more reliant on the Internet for communication, information, health services, and business relations, it has started to become clear that connectivity should be seen as a basic human right. Unfortunately, due to environmental obstacles, distance from major ISPs, and lack of financial incentives, connectivity is scarce in these areas with low population density. This results in expensive and complex networks with a lack of options for those living in these rural communities.

The RuralConnect thrives in these developing regions, as it is able to act as a backhaul to networks close by, utilize more open channels, deploy quickly even in difficult terrain, and utilize less equipment/infrastructure to provide coverage at further distances – saving customers money. Furthermore, the RuralConnect is not just limited to rural environments. Given available channels, White Space is also a viable option for more densely populated areas as urban demonstrations have shown. This “Super Wi-Fi” effect allows us to connect more people in more places than ever before.

TV White Space for Internet of Things


Aside from connecting people, TV White Space is also capable of connecting things. This technology can make a connected home or work space a reality by offering a broadband signal capable of handling multiple devices reporting large amounts of data across long distances. Someday, TV White Space will enable smart cities with connected home devices, sports stadiums, shopping centers, municipal areas, and more.

Interference-Free Operations


RuralConnect interacts with spectrum databases for interference-free operation. Carlson has teamed up with database providers Telcordia (now iconectiv) and Spectrum Bridge to demonstrate how this works. You can see it for yourself in this short video, “Dynamic Spectrum in Action”

Don't just take our word for it check out the video to see how white space technology is helping people connect all over the world, even in the most rural of areas. 

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