Super Wi-Fi is a term coined by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to describe a wireless networking proposal which the FCC plans to use for the creation of longer-distance wireless Internet access. The use of the trademark "Wi-Fi" in the name has been criticized because it is not based on Wi-Fi technology or endorsed by the Wi-Fi Alliance. A trade show has also been called the "Super WiFi Summit" (without hyphen). Various standards such as IEEE 802.22 and IEEE 802.11af have been proposed for this concept.
Instead of using the 2.4 GHz radio frequency of Wi-Fi, the "Super Wi-Fi" proposal uses the lower-frequency white spaces between television channel frequencies. These lower frequencies allow the signal to travel further and penetrate walls better than the higher frequencies previously used. The FCC's plan was to allow those white space frequencies to be used for free, as happens with shorter-range Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. However, due to concerns of interference to broadcast, Super Wi-Fi devices cannot access the TV spectrum at will. The FCC has made mandatory the utilization of a TV white space database (also referred to as geolocation database), which must be accessed by the Super Wi-Fi devices before the latter gain access to the VHF-UHF spectrum. The white space database evaluates the potential for interference to broadcast and either grant or deny access of Super Wi-Fi devices to the VHF-UHF spectrum.
Rice University, in partnership with the nonprofit organization Technology For All, installed the first residential deployment of Super Wi-Fi in east Houston in April 2011. The network uses white spaces for backhaul and provides access to clients using 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. A month later, a public Super Wi-Fi network was developed in Calgary, Alberta. Calgary based company WestNet Wireless launched the network for free and paid subscribers. The United States' first public Super Wi-Fi network was developed in Wilmington, North Carolina, on January 26, 2012. Florida based company Spectrum Bridge, Inc. launched the network for public use with access at Hugh MacRae park. West Virginia University launched the first campus Super WiFi network on July 9, 2013.
- IEEE 802.11af, a standard for wireless local area networks (WLAN) in TV white space
- IEEE 802.22, a standard for wireless regional area networks (WRAN) in TV white space
- White spaces (radio)
- White spaces (database)
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