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April 14, 2014

Zcorum in Early Stages of Testing TV White Spaces



By Jyothi Shanbhag
TMCnet Contributor



Today, several tech and media companies are working on exploring the use of TV white space spectrum to help meet the fast rising demand for broadband. TV White Spaces are the vacant frequencies offered by the FCC (News - Alert) for unlicensed use at locations where spectrum is not being utilized by a licensed service.

Zcorum, a provider of managed broadband services and diagnostics, is one such company currently working on one of the major projects of testing the TV White Space, and hopes that this new technology turns out to be a cost-effective broadband solution for rural areas in Gordon, GA. TV White Spaces can prove to be beneficial as it has the ability to service a moderately large area at a lesser cost when compared to wireline technologies like cable, DSL and Fiber.

“There are still many underserved areas in the U.S. because the cost to build out the infrastructure has simply been too high considering the number of potential customers,” said Scott Helms, Vice President of Technology at ZCorum.

The lower frequency UHF spectrum in TV White Space is non-line of sight and can be useful for providing coverage in hard-to-reach rural areas, using far less infrastructure than other technologies.

Helms said that these frequencies can enter buildings and trees, and even follow rough terrain, which are complications that would prevent other fixed-wireless frequencies from reaching potential subscribers.

Moving ahead with its goals, ZCorum has even submitted an expression of interest to the FCC to be included in a new trial program using extra funds from the Connect America Fund. The FCC is currently granting the funds to trial projects whose goal is the expansion of broadband services in rural areas.

“With this project we have the opportunity to help providers in rural communities offer access to better and more economical broadband services,” said ZCorum President and CEO, Julie Compann. “That’s something I’m very passionate about.” Compann added, “We are just in the beginning stages. This will be a learning process, and we invite everyone to learn right along with us as we document the process on our Business of Broadband blog.”


Edited by Rory J. Thompson
 
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