'White space' viable for rural broadband – report

Wednesday 29 August 2012, 6:28PM
By Internet NZ

A just-published report on radio spectrum ‘white space’ has found that the technology is a viable alternative for getting high-speed broadband out into rural and remote New Zealand communities.

White space refers to radio spectrum frequencies allocated to a broadcasting service but are not used locally.

The report – written by telecommunications consultant Jon Brewer – explores a number of technology and regulatory issues, as well as several practical uses and trials of white space technology.

Brewer notes that approaches based on ‘white space’ are inexpensive, lightweight and can provide more effective broadband coverage in geographically-challenged parts of the country.

In the report he highlights the potential of white space for three New Zealand rural communities – Parikino in the Wanganui District, Pourerere in Central Hawkes Bay and Clova & Crail Bays in the Marlborough Sounds.

The report was funded by InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) as part of its Community Projects Funding Round, held last year.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Vikram Kumar says the Rural Broadband Initiative will not deliver broadband to several tens of thousands of rural New Zealanders, and there is potential for these people to receive broadband via fixed wireless services, including via white spaces.

“We’re pleased to have been able to fund this study, as it highlights a number of aspects of emerging 802.22 wireless technology as it relates to rural areas,” he says.

A copy of Jon Brewer’s white spaces report can be downloaded at