GLN Releases TV White Spaces Coverage Map

  • Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN)
  • TVWS Libraries Coverage Map
SAN FRANCISCO - The Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN) released a new interactive online national map showing prospective TV White Spaces (TVWS) coverage zones for all 16,500+ public libraries in the U.S.

Built from coordinates in a data base of public library facilities provided by the Institute for Museum and Libraries Services (IMLS), the TVWS Libraries Coverage Map zoom display shows each facility, state by state, as a prospective TVWS base station hub of a wireless regional area network (WRAN). Each site is overlaid with 5- and 10-mile radius circles to indicate possible coverage areas where "satellite" library Wi-Fi hotspots might be deployed and supported via wireless backhaul using TVWS equipment.

Eliminating Line-of-Sight Obstacles
TVWS, sometimes known as Super Wi-Fi, operates in vacant TV broadcast spectrum and provides excellent range, even when line of sight communications is not possible. GLN’s Libraries WhiteSpace Project demonstrates how integrating the near universal compatibility of Wi-Fi with the range and penetrating capabilities of TVWS equipment can increase availability and convenience of library Wi-Fi access at tens of thousands of new community hotspots in publicly accessible locations such as parks, civic centers, book kiosks, playgrounds and emergency shelters.

The tens of millions of people who currently access library Wi-Fi must be physically at or near a library facility providing a hotspot. “GLN provides this visualization tool to better understand the potential of a valuable new free and open wireless communications resource that can quickly and inexpensively expand the number of places to access library broadband. Our primary intention with this map is to support planning by anyone from the FCC to commercial providers to individual libraries exploring ways to incorporate TVWS capabilities into their overall connectivity strategies,” said Project Director Don Means.

“Libraries have served as a destination for those seeking basic Internet access for well over 25 years. The GLN's TVWS initiative positions the library community at the leading edge of next generation broadband,” says Project Advisor Lev Gonick, CEO of OneCommunity.

“Libraries, schools and other anchor institutions deploying TVWS seem to offer a perfect fit with the FCC’s upcoming Rural Broadband Trials program,” adds Means.

"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

Gigabit Libraries Network is an open collaboration of innovation libraries cooperating as a distributed testbed and showcase environment for high performance applications and equipment in the service of educational, civic and cultural objectives.


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