A California ISP called Cal.net is rolling out service in El Dorado county where almost 60,000 residents have minimal internet access. Cal.net is taking advantage of unused portions of the radio spectrum, called white spaces, to send wireless signal over long distances.
This is not a new idea, but concerns about interference and scaling have largely limited white space broadband to pilot programs so far in the U.S.. Cal.net's service uses a relay system of antennas called RuralConnect in combination with broadband radios to achieve reasonable internet speeds. Cal.net is currently promising 16Mbps, but we'll see. White space broadband is beginning to gain some traction worldwide, but will definitely require additional testing and improvement. [Engadget via ArsTechnica]