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 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]


As a result of hearing on the safety of analog television broadcasting and the telecommunication act of 1996 along with the preliminary hearing material, the U.S. Federal Communication Commission laid the ground work for a framework for terrestrial Digital Television (DTV) broadcasting of legacy Standard Definition signals, as well as High Definition (HDTV). One major player in the development of Super WiFi are the various patents for Nielsen Rating Technology which predates the development of commercial WiFi. For example, US Patent 7152237 credits many previous patents since 1982 but mainly references the Nielson Rating to about the 1920. [5]

US Federal Communications Commission's approved the rules for "white spaces" on September 23, 2010 as it has done for many university since the 1990s.

On April 19, 2011, Rice University, in partnership with the nonprofit organization Technology For All, installed the first residential deployment of Super Wi-Fi in east Houston. The network uses white spaces for backhaul and provides access to clients using 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.[6]

On May 8, 2011, a public Super Wi-Fi network was developed in Calgary, Alberta. Calgary based company WestNet Wireless. launched the network for free and paid subscribers.[7]

On January 26, 2012, the United States first public Super Wi-Fi network was developed in Wilmington, North Carolina. Florida based company Spectrum Bridge, Inc. launched the network for public use with access at Hugh MacRae park.[8]

On July 9, 2013, West Virginia University launched the first campus Super WiFi network.[9]

See also[edit]

  • 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


  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. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Houston grandmother is nation's first 'Super Wi-Fi' user". PhysOrg. 19 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Calgary Super Wi-Fi Network.". WestNet. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  8. ^ Parrish, Kevin. "First Super Wi-Fi Network in the U.S. Finally Deployed". Tom's Guide US. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Nation's first campus 'Super Wi-Fi' network launches at West Virginia University". wvutoday. Retrieved 9 July 2013.