Back in December, the FCC approved the first white space device and database for the lucky city of Wilmington, North Carolina. Last week, the program bore its first fruits, when database operator Spectrum Bridge finally launched its TV White Space (TVWS) network in Carolina, as part of Wilmington's ongoing "Smart City" initiative. With the TVWS network up and running, Wilmingtonians will have internet access in public parks, while authorities will be able to use part of Spectrum Bridge's broadband for video surveillance. Public security, in fact, is among the primary functions of the new network, which will be expanded to help manage traffic congestion and to help the city function more efficiently. Beam past the break for more, in the full press release.
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North Carolina Officially Launches the First Commercial TV White Spaces Network

Spectrum Bridge Enables Wilmington / New Hanover County and the Wireless Industry to Launch First FCC-Approved Smart City Using TVWS

WILMINGTON, NC--(Marketwire - Jan 26, 2012) - Spectrum Bridge, Inc., today announced the launch of the first commercial TV White Space (TVWS) network in the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina. The company's cloud-based spectrum management platform is the centerpiece of technology that taps into frequencies freed up by digital TV transition to provide wireless bandwidth and network access for a range of innovative solutions.

The first network applications support broadband initiatives by providing the public with internet access in local parks and broadband for video security surveillance. The system provides a platform for future development and serves as a model for other municipalities looking to take advantage of TVWS availability across the US. Adopting these innovative "Smart City" solutions can assist in driving local economic development and improve the overall standard of living by establishing a better broadband information infrastructure.

"We are extremely pleased with the installations of the white spaces systems at our parks and gardens," said Ted Davis, Chairman of New Hanover County. "This technology has proven to be an unobtrusive, environmentally friendly way to offer services to our citizens and the visitors at our parks and to give our staff more efficient ways to manage these locations."

TVWS deployments benefit wireless users and a range of industry participants; such as broadcasters, content providers, telecom and Internet service providers, and equipment manufacturers due to the excellent propagation characteristics of the frequencies. The TV White Space frequencies also have superior non-line-of-sight performance which allows the signal to penetrate obstacles such as trees, buildings, or rugged terrain at greater distances than other unlicensed spectrum.

"It's exciting to see the first commercial network go live in Wilmington utilizing this unlicensed TV Band spectrum," said Rod Dir, CEO of Spectrum Bridge. "With the explosive demand for spectrum and technology now available to enable more bandwidth, this is a big step forward in developing the next multi-billion dollar market driven by the innovation of new wireless services."

Benefits of the "Smart City"

The main functions of the current system are for video surveillance, citizen and property security, traffic surveillance/mitigation and public wireless Internet access. In the near future, cities will be connected through integrated wireless networking technology to manage congestion, maximize energy efficiency, enhance public safety and provide valuable services to the citizens within the community. With these advanced monitoring systems and smart sensors, city management enhances the decision-making by collecting the data and analyzing it in real-time.

Event Details

The launch of the new network is being marked by a special event today at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside Hotel in Wilmington, North Carolina. The event will begin at 2pm ET and can be viewed via live stream at http://www.nhcgov.com/Pages/Stream.aspx. FCC Representatives, New Hanover County Commissioners, and the Wilmington Mayor will be in attendance to unveil the live network to the rest of the world.

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