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AIR.U Intros Program To Boost Broadband Networks with Unused TV Frequencies

The AIR.U Consortium has introduced a Quick Start Network Program intended to help AIR.U member institutions improve broadband network coverage and capacity.

The Quick Start Network Program is available exclusively to AIR.U higher education institutions. AIR.U is a consortium of education associations, public interest groups, and high tech companies that was formed by Declaration Networks in 2012. The founding higher education organizations represent more than 500 colleges and universities across the country.

The goal of the AIR.U initiative is to accelerate deployment of next generation networks in educational communities by deploying high-capacity broadband networks that make use of "White Spaces," which are unused television channel frequencies. AIR.U wants to help its member colleges and universities use these White Space frequencies to provide wireless broadband access to the Internet for the purpose of supporting campuswide public WiFi, residential broadband to students and faculty, and machine-to-machine services supporting campus security and monitoring.

“The Quick Start Network Program responds to the need at many colleges to quickly and easily close gaps in campus broadband connectivity,” said Michael Calabrese, director of the Wireless Future Project at the New America Foundation and an AIR.U co-founder, in a prepared statement.

Participating AIR.U institutions will receive:

  • A community survey and needs assessment;
  • A White Space base station and three WiFi hotspots;
  • Design, installation, and monitoring support;
  • White Space educational application and technical documentation;
  • An economic analysis and sustainability assessment; and
  • Membership in the AIR.U User Group.

Members of the AIR.U User Group will have the opportunity "to further develop the White Space technology, establish best practices, identify applications, and share approaches for community expansion activities, according to information from AIR.U.

Further information about the Quick Start Network Program can be found at

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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