A new international trade association, the Whitespace Regional Area Network Alliance, has formed in order to promote the use of TV band frequencies to deliver broadband services to rural and developing areas. Its goals include the deployment and use of standards-based products and services as a cost-effective way to bridge the digital divide between those who have broadband and the literally half the world that can’t access it.

The five founding members of the WhiteSpace Allliance are AmeriSys, BAE Systems, Electronics & Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), National Institution of Information and Communication Technology (NICT) and RelayServices.

Initially, the organization has adopted the IEEE 802.22 technology, which can deliver up to 29 Mbps per TV channel over an area up to 100 km from the transmitter. The standard, which was finalized in July, ensures there will be no interference to existing services like: digital or analog TV broadcasts; or low-power licensed devices such as wireless microphones. Its future plans include the use of 4G/LTE in higher density areas.

Dr. Apurva Mody, chair of the IEEE 802.22 Working Group, has been named chairman of the WhiteSpace Alliance. He is actively seeking new members who can contribute input from broadcasters, ISPs, database providers, original device and equipment manufacturers, and other sectors with a vested interest. “We welcome new members that are willing to invest their time and energy to realize this global, multi-billion dollar opportunity and make an impact on their company’s bottom line,” he said. “This is a unique opportunity to shape the organization, and participate in the WhiteSpace market – the next generation of Internet connectivity.”

The WhiteSpace Alliance will be hosting two live webinars for prospective members on December 21.

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Photo by Flickr user Eran Finkle, used under Creative Commons license



  1. Carlson applauds this group for helping to bring this much needed technology forward.

    We’ve deployed our TV white space product, RuralConnect IP, in several experimental applications in rural communities around the nation.

    We’ve seen the difference broadband access brings to those communities, particularly in the area of public safety.

    For more information, read about the TV white space project at the Yurok Tribal territory in Northern California: