Super Wi-Fi

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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.[1][2] 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.[1] A trade show has also been called the "Super WiFi Summit" (without hyphen).[3] 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.[4] These lower frequencies allow the signal to travel further and penetrate walls better than the higher frequencies previously used.[4] 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] West Virginia University launched the first campus Super WiFi network on July 9, 2013.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sascha Segan (January 27, 2012). "'Super Wi-Fi': Super, But Not Wi-Fi". PC Magazine. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  2. ^ Dana Blankenhorn (20 September 2010). "Super WiFi solves the Google carrier problem". ZDNet.
  3. ^ "Super Wi-Fi Summit". Technology Marketing Corporation. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Associated Press (September 13, 2010). "'Super Wi-Fi' nears final approval in U.S." CBC. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  5. ^ "Houston grandmother is nation's first 'Super Wi-Fi' user". PhysOrg. 19 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Calgary Super Wi-Fi Network". WestNet. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  7. ^ Parrish, Kevin. "First Super Wi-Fi Network in the U.S. Finally Deployed". Tom's Guide US. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Nation's first campus 'Super Wi-Fi' network launches at West Virginia University". wvutoday. Retrieved 9 July 2013.