Federal Communications Commission

Super Wi-Fi is Super for Energy Too

September 24th, 2010 by Nick Sinai - Energy and Environment Director

By Nick Sinai and Tom Brown

We at the FCC are very excited about yesterday’s order to free up the unused "white spaces" spectrum between television channels, intended to spur a wave of innovation in new devices and applications. Most commenters have focused on the possible use of this spectrum in "Super Wi-Fi" networks with wider range and better structural penetration than is available today.

But Super Wi-Fi isn’t just for consumers; it’s super for improving how we transmit and distribute energy in America too. The National Broadband Plan made several recommendations designed to integrate broadband into the emerging Smart Grid and enable improved Smart Grid communications; white spaces spectrum is yet another option for utilities to use for their communications networks. As we have seen in a recent trial in Plumas-Sierra County, California, white spaces spectrum can be used effectively and securely for grid automation applications, as well as retail broadband services. Opening white spaces spectrum is also likely to have a particular impact on utility operations in rural areas, which often have challenging terrain and fewer options for broadband service than urban areas.

The FCC remains committed to doing its part to usher in a new era of utility communications, and we look forward to seeing the innovations in all sorts of "national purpose" areas – health care, education, and yes, energy – that will result from yesterday’s action.

(Cross-posted at the Department of Energy Blog and The Official FCC Blog)

4 Responses to “Super Wi-Fi is Super for Energy Too”

  1. Guest says:

    it is about time...forward thinking

  2. Mark A Holman says:

    There is IMHO need to replace outdated TELCO wiring and IEEE has a standard of reccomendation of FTTH ( Fiber To The Home ) various TELCOS are scrambling to meet those needs, in my rural area ur old ( 1964 ) patch job cable was recently replaced with new copper lines.

    Training people to learn these technologies is in demand just as well Education, Certification, Hiring as well Training people to the Information Technology field. I am at Assoc. Degree and transferring schools and persuing a BS Degree.

    as IEEE has said Engineers are in Demand !

    and a job that is not a profession may be just a stepping stone but getting people to think EDUCATION is the key.

    Also politics, legal issues, area community governments and the People as well need to promote this in order to work.

  3. Lee says:

    Despite their possibly good reputations you can't argue with the figures, can you? You're talking tens or hundreds of microWatts, tops, when you're close to the transmitter. Let's face it - they use a receiver with an amplifier, to produce enough power to detect and decode the actual WiFi signal. Why would they bother, if there was enough received power to operate a "crystal set'?
    A much better potential source of energy would be movement (like kinetic watches) or thermal.

  4. Michael Ponder Jr says:

    I may have to move back to votaw texas...... and their is no broadband there at all..
    I would go nuts without broadband out there....
    I hope something gets done soon to get broadband out there... it's not fare or right that.. broadband is everywhere but areas that are further out like votaw and rye texas.
    Their are a lot of places in texas that could bennefit from broadband... but it seems like no one cares.
    Otherwise, their is nothing there.
    i don't want to leave there cause of it.... i feel.. blocked off from the rest of the world without broadband, and dial up no longer works even for surfing the net, things take hours to download on dial up in votaw.
    For now i am lucky to be living in Corsicana texas and using DSL..... but if i have to go back to Votaw where their is no broadband.. i would.. i would lose it.
    Why is nothing being done?
    Why is it taking so long?
    I know people in other countries who even though they live in rural areas their is broadband, how come other countries are ahead of us?...
    .. It's not right.

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