By WRAL Tech Wire

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The first commercially available white-space broadband network will launch Friday in New Hanover County.

The event represents the first time the public has been able to access to a commercial broadband network carried on TV band frequencies not occupied by TV signals.

Spectrum Bridge, Inc., was to administer the launch in Wilmington.

The Florida-based company’s cloud-based spectrum management platform is the centerpiece of technology that taps into frequencies freed up by digital TV transition to provide wireless bandwidth and network access for a range of innovative solutions.

The first network applications support broadband initiatives by providing the public with internet access in local parks and broadband for video security surveillance. The system provides a platform for future development and serves as a model for other municipalities looking to take advantage of TVWS availability across the U.S.

Adopting these innovative “Smart City” solutions can assist in driving local economic development and improve the overall standard of living by establishing a better broadband information infrastructure, the company said.

“We are extremely pleased with the installations of the white spaces systems at our parks and gardens,” said Ted Davis, Chairman of New Hanover County. “This technology has proven to be an unobtrusive, environmentally friendly way to offer services to our citizens and the visitors at our parks and to give our staff more efficient ways to manage these locations.”

TVWS deployments benefit wireless users and a range of industry participants and better equipment manufacturers due to the excellent propagation characteristics of the frequencies. The TV White Space frequencies also have non-line-of-sight performance which allows the signal to penetrate obstacles such as trees, buildings, or rugged terrain at greater distances than other unlicensed spectrum.

“It’s exciting to see the first commercial network go live in Wilmington utilizing this unlicensed TV Band spectrum,” said Rod Dir, CEO of Spectrum Bridge. “With the explosive demand for spectrum and technology now available to enable more bandwidth, this is a big step forward in developing the next multi-billion dollar market driven by the innovation of new wireless services.”

The launch of the new network was to be marked by a special event Friday at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside Hotel in Wilmington.

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