Friday, September 17, 2010

Why Super WiFi Won't Fly In Canada

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South of the 49th parallel, the regulator of all things that transmits signals, the Federal Communications Commission is working on a new standard for wireless networking that promises faster speeds and greater range (up to 2 kilometres) and better able to penetrate through walls.  Already dubbed 'Super WiFi' would abandon the 2.4 and 5.8 GHz bands that WiFi networks have traditionally used.  SuperWiFi networks would be transmit in the 'white spaces' between TV stations created when America's television industry made the switch from analog to digital back in June of 2009.

Super WiFi will be something like Hulu in one way, it will only be available in the United States only.  Canada's half hearted approach to switching broadcast TV from analog to digital means that there will be no white spaces opened up for Super WiFi or anything else that requires radio frequency spectrum that gets freed up from the DTV transition.

The main transmitters in the major cities will need to be switched from analog to digital but station relay re-transmitters that serve small towns and rural areas will be allowed operate in analog after August 31, 2011.  All TV stations have been assigned alternative channel assignments by the CRTC to operate on if they are providing both digital and analog over the air signals between now and August, 31. 2011.  Many stations will be moving to their assigned digital channels.  Any transmitter operating on channel 52 or higher must be moved to channel 52 or lower regardless if it's a main station transmitter that will be switched to digital or a station relay  re-transmitter that will continue to operate in analog.  Stations operating on channels 2-6 are choosing to move due to the better performance on the VHF hi and UHF bands. 

To illustrate how filled the TV bands will get even if just a few networks operate stations in any given area, Regina has CTV (CKCK-TV) on Channel 2, CBC (CBKT) on Channel 9 and Global (CFRE) on Channel 11.  The CRTC has assigned channel 8 to CKCK-TV for digital broadcasting, it is expected that CKCK will move from channel 2 to 8 as part of the digital television transition.  CBC is assigned channel 26 to operate CBKT-DT but have applied for a one year extension to complete their digital build out in smaller cities in Canada.  If in the unlikely event this extension is granted there will be a digital station operating right next to an analog station.  CFRE is likely to stay on channel 11 using their assigned digital channel 40 unused due to the lower operating cost of operating on VHF.  That leaves very little room in the Hi VHF channels for everybody and their dog to operate a SuperWiFi network.

Complicating things even more moving out into areas away from the cities where station relay re-transmitters operate.  In Moose Jaw CKCK operates a re-transmitter on channel 7, and CBKT operates a re-transmitter on channel 10 out of Willow bunch south of Moose Jaw.  Moose Jaw lies in the fringe area of CBKT channel 9 expected fringe area of CKCK-DT channel 8.  If the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation gets on year extension, channels 7,8,9,10,11 and 13 will be occupied.  That's why there will be no SuperWiFi coming to Canada and all those wireless broadband services and cell phone bands probably won't be available here ether.

1 comment:

CanPharm said...

That is really great technology and also the discovery such that they can help us for wireless networking and also faster speed.

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