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Internet over the Airwaves?

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:04 am
by TheForce
Is it possible to receive broadband internet over the airwaves like we get TV and radio? This would really have universal applications! You could get internet in the car and on the go, etc...

Re: Internet over the Airwaves?

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:20 am
by ZenithCKLW
We have smartphones that do that.

Do you prefer receiving internet on a different device then? Internet access is a two-way street: a mix of packet downloads and uploads. As “broadcasting” is one way from transmitter to receiver only (download), we still need to accomplish the upload, making the receiver the new transmitter, and the transmitter the new receiver. I’m not sure your radio or receiveing device would be capable of “broadcasting” back to the radio station (in Southfield for example) with enough power to make this reliable. That’s what the LTE cellular networks are for.

While technically possible, I suspect it’s highly impractical.

Re: Internet over the Airwaves?

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:39 am
by Deleted User 14935
Yes, It’s on it’s way with the new broadcasting 3.0 ATSC technology and 5G by 2020 it will start. Part of the reason for repacking the TV spectrum.

Re: Internet over the Airwaves?

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:41 am
by Mike Oxlong
Yes, I believe there is a company doing that up in the Grand Blanc/Flint/Fenton area. I did a bit of googling. I'm not going to say 100% that this is the company, and I'm not 100% sure that they do what you are asking about, but if my oldtimer's isn't kicking in, I'm willing to wager a cup of coffee I got it right.

http://tcw.co/

Re: Internet over the Airwaves?

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:39 am
by kc8yqq
A couple of areas used to (and may still do) offer wireless internet:

The little town of Ashley (east of US-127 off M-57) with an access point on top of their water tower. I believe the town provided the service.

The area around the little town of Vestaburg (west of Alma off of M-46) had an access point on the tower at M-46/Crystal Rd.

Re: Internet over the Airwaves?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:32 am
by Calvert DeForest
Some cities have experimented with municipal WiFi. I believe Philadelphia offered it at one point although I don't know if they still do. I imagine the infrastructure is pretty costly to build out and maintain, not to mention the security issues involved in connecting to public hot spots. I have a VPN on my phone that I fire up whenever I connect to any public WiFi.

The new ATSC 3.0 digital standard will allow TV stations to broadcast and receive data packets from mobile devices. Not only will it offer the ability to watch local stations on PC's and mobile devices, it will offer interactive services such as on-demand viewing and retrieval of information such as news, weather, traffic conditions, etc. It will also allow stations to establish micro-repeaters in fringe areas where the signal from the main tower may be weaker. The advantage of ATSC 3.0 is that it can accommodate transmission redundancy on a single frequency without interference. Stations can utilize a combination of high and low-power transmission points on a single channel to better cover their licensed footprints, much like cell towers do now.

Re: Internet over the Airwaves?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:00 pm
by bmw
The idea of "Super WiFi" has been around for a while - the idea was to use "white space" between tv channel frequencies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Wi-Fi

Its implementation, however, is quite limited.

On a side note, I remember years back I helped a cousin of mine set up a wifi satellite dish in his back yard, right on Lake Huron. When weather conditions were good, he could connect to hot spots in the thumb of Michigan more than 20 miles away (he was just north of the tip of the thumb and on the sunrise side).

Re: Internet over the Airwaves?

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:47 am
by Calvert DeForest
I've heard of sat dishes being converted to WiFi booster antennas but never knew if it actually worked. An ISP out of Mount Pleasant offers wireless service to our area via microwave. It costs slightly more than we pay our current DSL provider and the data transfer rates are pretty much the same. No advantage to switch especially since our current provider hasn't hiked the bill in the 12 years we've been with them. Granted we don't have lightning-fast data, but the transfer rate has significantly improved over time and it's more than enough to get the job done.

Re: Internet over the Airwaves?

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:38 pm
by Ed Joseph
There are a few "Wi-MAx" ISP's around, but I don't know of any in our area. There was a company trying what is basically internet from Low Earth Satellites, I really don't know how that is going thus far, but I'd beta-test for them in a heartbeat.

Re: Internet over the Airwaves?

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:44 pm
by Ed Joseph
And I have a friend in Chattanooga who uses their municipal internet and cable. He says their municipal service is twice as fast as Comcrap was, has a better selection of cable channels and it's under $50 a month with no caps. I'd jump on that in a second, but I live in a dual-monopoly area. We just ditched Comcrap (worst company EVERRRRR!) for AT&T. For less than what we paid for the lowest tiers of TV and internet with Comcrap, we now have faster tendernet, far more channels and two brand new cell phones. No data caps. And a great deal for 2 years, at which point I hope we have sold our place in Flint and moved to SWMI.