Acting FCC chair Mignon Clyburn issues a statement Tuesday in
support of a new campus-wide Wi-Fi Network launched by West Virginia University
and AIR.U using TV white spaces.
AIR.U founding partners include Google and Microsoft.
"Innovative deployment of TV white spaces presents an
exciting opportunity for underserved rural and low-income urban communities
across the country," Clyburn said. "I commend AIR.U and West Virginia
University on launching a unique pilot program that provides campus-wide Wi-Fi
services using TV white space devices. This pilot will not only demonstrate how
TV white space technologies can help bridge the digital divide, but also could
offer valuable insights into how best to structure future deployments."
The initial network, which will provide free Wi-Fi, is
confined to a tram system on campus serving 15,000 riders daily, but it is
billed as a test for helping address broadband deployment in many West Virginia
communities "where broadband access continues to be an issue." It is
an issue of particular importance to Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), chairman of
the Senate Communications Subcommittee.
"The lessons learned from this pilot
project will be important as Congress continues to look for ways to expand
broadband access and advance smart spectrum policy," said Rockefeller in
statement, according to WVU.