Super Wi-Fi Pilot Goes Global

A Super Wi-Fi for libraries pilot project initiated last year at several American libraries is now expanding abroad.

by / February 13, 2014

A “Super Wi-Fi” pilot project launched last October in more than a dozen libraries around the country is now being expanded internationally.

Organizer Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN) reported on Feb. 13 that some libraries in the pilot are now considering purchasing equipment to continue implementing their Super Wi-Fi service. Meanwhile, there will be new deployments over the next few months in the Philippines, Finland and Malaysia.

Newly-available televisTV spectrum (TVWS) following the digital cable revolution is used by Super-Wi-Fi to provide Wi-Fi service that penetrates obstacles more easily and provides Internet access for a wider geographic range. GLN advertise the partnership between libraries and Super Wi-Fi as an effective way to provide Internet access to the approximately 80 million Americans who use public libraries.

“At Delta County Library District, we have found that TVWS technology can punch through with megabit rate Internet where no other solution can penetrate tree canopy, buildings and other obstructions," said John Gavan of the Delta County, Colo., Public Library. "TVWS systems are very easy to set up and a cost effective connectivity option particularly in rural areas offer where fiber, DSL, cable services are not available."

Super Wi-Fi was first launched in the U.S. in Jan. 2012 in New Hanover County, N.C., where officials used the technology to bring Internet connectivity to the visitors of three of the county’s public parks. The equipment was installed at buildings located at the park, and visitors are reportedly able to access the network from several hundred yards away.

Several other Super Wi-Fi pilots have also been launched around the nation and internationally over the last few months. A pilot consortium led by the University of New Hampshire's Broadband Center of Excellence will look to deploy Super Wi-Fi systems in rural areas of the state. A TVWS project called WISE will look to expand Internet availability to library and bookmobile visitors in Finland.