Kudos to the IEEE for rushing this new 'super WiFi' standard through so very speedily for the sake of rural communities with poor web access. Designated "IEEE 802.22," it promises to bring speeds of up to 22Mbps to devices as far as 60 miles away from the nearest transmitter. How's that possible? Well, the standard carefully exploits swathes of unused white space within transmission bands that were originally reserved (and jealously guarded) for analogue TV. These frequencies currently contain nothing but hiss and occasional communications from dead people, but one day they could and should be filled with the hopes, aspirations and Facebook updates of country folk who are very much alive. Read the signs in the PR after the break.

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IEEE 802.22TM-2011 Standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks in TV Whitespaces Completed

PISCATAWAY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IEEE, the world's largest professional association advancing technology for humanity, today announced that it has published the IEEE 802.22TM standard. IEEE 802.22 systems will provide broadband access to wide regional areas around the world and bring reliable and secure high-speed communications to under-served and un-served communities.

This new standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs) takes advantage of the favorable transmission characteristics of the VHF and UHF TV bands to provide broadband wireless access over a large area up to 100 km from the transmitter. Each WRAN will deliver up to 22 Mbps per channel without interfering with reception of existing TV broadcast stations, using the so-called white spaces between the occupied TV channels.

This technology is especially useful for serving less densely populated areas, such as rural areas, and developing countries where most vacant TV channels can be found.

IEEE 802.22 incorporates advanced cognitive radio capabilities including dynamic spectrum access, incumbent database access, accurate geolocation techniques, spectrum sensing, regulatory domain dependent policies, spectrum etiquette, and coexistence for optimal use of the available spectrum.

The IEEE 802.22 Working Group started its work following the Notice of Inquiry issued by the United States Federal Communications Commission on unlicensed operation in the TV broadcast bands.

Additional information on the standard can be found at the IEEE 802.22 WG page. To purchase the standard, visit the IEEE Standards Store.

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