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Redline: Deploying Wireless Broadband in TVWS Frequencies to Bridge the Digital Divide

Delivering Internet access to rural customers is no easy task

Many residences and businesses in small towns and rural areas all over the world lack the type of ready access to the Internet heavily-populated areas enjoy, often with more than one Internet service provider (ISP) from which to choose.
This has been termed the Digital Divide.

Rural customers often live some distance from the nearest community. Wireline service providers that serve such areas generally favor a fiber optic cable network. Certainly, fiber can deliver high-speed Internet connections but at a price. The cost to connect relatively few rural customers over a wide area with a high-capacity fiber optic system can run thousands of dollars per connection.

By contrast, wireless broadband systems offer a better alternative for these applications and in many cases, can be deployed efficiently and at lower capital cost per customer compared to fiber. These wireless systems typically utilize unlicensed frequencies such as 900 MHz or 5 GHz. Connections between a base station and a remote terminal at the customer premise are often achieved through line-of-sight (LOS) transmission.

There are instances, however, where LOS transmission is not possible because of hilly or mountainous terrain and dense foliage coverage. In such circumstances, a wireless broadband system operating in television white space (TVWS) frequencies in the UHF (470-698 MHz) band can facilitate non-line-of-sight (NLOS) transmission to connect those few, hard-to-reach customers. Note that the 900 MHz spectrum traditionally has performed well for NLOS applications; however, 900 MHz is overused, and the resultant radio frequency (RF) noise limits the range and capacity of systems operating in this band.

This white paper describes the actual TVWS deployment using Redline's RDL-3000 XP Virtual Fiber(tm) wireless broadband system by ABC Communications (ABC), an Internet service provider (ISP) based in the Province of British Columbia (BC) in Western Canada. ABC's headquarters are in Quensel, BC.

To read the full white paper, please click Here.