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Communities across the country have begun to install TVWS units to support new remote public library Wi-Fi access points in parks, community centers, shelters, kiosks, underserved library branches and other publicly accessible places.
- Pascagoula, MS
- State of Delaware
The Pilot began in 2013 as an early stage national trial involving libraries in six states. As of 2015, the initiative has grown into an open global collaboration project. (more)
Currently, the 10's of millions of people in the U.S. who rely solely or in part on public libraries to provide broadband access must be in or just beside one of 16,000+ facilities.
TV White Space has advantages both in a range measured in 100's and even 1,000's of meters and in its ability to connect through walls, trees and other obstructions. And like Wi-Fi, TVWS (sometimes called Super WiFi) uses unlicensed radio spectrum in the UHF TV bands, open and available to anyone with certified equipment to use with no fees, carriers or other permissions required.
"The technology was easy to set up; works extremely well and requires little support. It just runs day in and day out. We typically have over 200 associations a day and move an average of 2.5 GB of data a day over the network. It has been transformational for our little town” -John Gavan of Delta County, CO Public Library.
Since 2014 the Pilot has sought participation by library consortia anywhere in the world to explore the potential of TVWS/Wi-Fi networks to play a role in providing first time access to the over 4 billion people without internet connections.
"Who better and more trusted than the world's 320,000 libraries, as intermediate end points in telecom infrastructure buildout, to act as test lab and access point in communities everywhere. The impact of this in America and the rest of the world is incalculable! The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance completely supports this proposal." H Nwana, Executive Director and fmr. head of spectrum at UK regulator Ofcom.
Libraries WhiteSpace Project Overview video (2 min.)
Libraries and other community anchors are invited to join the WhiteSpace Project to install, support or analyze TVWS/WiFi networks as part of a new national assessment to evaluate capabilities to widen public library Wi-Fi availability and for potential as a new disaster readiness resource.
Participation Checklist Video (2 min)
See Participation Checklist with help tools and links at Resource Hub.
Project Partners (IMLS Grant)
-- San Jose State U. iSchool
-- Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB)
-- National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA)
-- Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC)
-- International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA)
-- Chief Officers of StateLibrary Agencies (COSLA)
-- National Association of Telecommunications Officials (NATOA)-- Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA)
-- OTI/ New America Foundation
-- IREX / Beyond Access
-- Public Knowledge
-- Wireless ISP Association (WISPA)
-- WhiteSpace Alliance
-- Adaptrum Inc.
-- Carlson Wireless
-- KTS Wireless
-- Wireless ISP Association-WISPA
-- Institute for Infocomm Research
-- Turku University of Applied Sciences -Finland
-- Power Automation - Singapore
-- Open Technology Institute / New American Foundation
-- WhiteSpace Alliance
-- Internet Archive
-- Public Knowledge
-- Fiber Tower
-- CTC Networks
-- Spoton Networks
“It is amazing how persuasive it is when something actually works. Having libraries engage in showing (even modestly) what is possible in this new TV White Space environment is the most persuasive way to get others up and running," -GLN advisor and internet pioneer, Vint Cerf.
"This pilot program(FCC Rural BB) will help us learn... how anchor institutions –including schools and libraries – can harness demand for the greater good of an entire community; and how new forms of wireless can reach deep into the interior of rural America." -Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman
Beyond the Walls Awards Now Open for Applications! Cutoff: March 6
Subawards to fund Library Led Community TVWS Projects
IMLS Grant Details
Jennie Stapp, Vint Cerf, Michael Calabrese, Joanne Hovis, Paul Garnett, Rick Whitt, Annie Norman, Lev Gonick, John Windhausen, Susan Crawford, David Weinberger, Ellen Goodman, William Lehr, John Horrigan
In the News:
Internet Society Blog
Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries
"SecondNet: Libraries Using TV WhiteSpace to Increase Community Resilience and Expand Patron Access."
IFLA IT Section Newsletter
BB Communities Magazine
GCN - PULSE
MIT Tech Review