I know that many readers of this newsletter live in rural areas that do not have high-speed Internet connections available. All that will change within the next few years as the new IEEE 802.22 standard has been published.
Remember that we all had to switch from analog television to digital television about two years ago? The new IEEE 802.22 standard will use the frequencies vacated by the old television signals. The standard will provide networking in areas over a 62-mile radius at speeds of up to 22 megabits per second. That is as fast as or faster than most of today's fiber optic connections to private residences.
The frequencies now available, from 54MHz to 698MHz, can maintain signals over vast distances, probably longer distances than sending television signals on the same frequencies. People living within 20 or 30 miles of a base station will probably have strong signals using indoor "rabbit ear" antennas. Those further away from the base transmitters will need roof-mounted antennas that will be similar to the television antennas many of us have used for decades.
Distances will vary, depending upon the terrain, but most IEEE 802.22 standard base stations will send and receive signals for about 62 miles.
The base stations most likely will be owned and operated by today's cell phone companies and various Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, BellSouth, RoadRunner, and others.
You can expect to see this new, high-speed coverage in a few areas within a year and it will probably be available most everywhere in the U.S. within five years.
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