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The Warren County town of Thurman will use a new broadband technology called "white space." Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmcordell/7229323266/">Diane Cordell</a> CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
The Warren County town of Thurman will use a new broadband technology called "white space." Photo: Diane Cordell CC some rights reserved

Adk town to use new "white space" broadband tech

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The North Country is in line to receive a big chunk of the $25 million that state officials are spending to bring broadband internet to more parts of rural New York.

One of the projects in the Adirondacks will use a technology called "white space" to bring broadband to remote homes in the Warren County town of Thurman.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

Fred Engelman is with Rainmaker Network Services, based in Chestertown. He says white space is different from wi-fi in a very important way: "White space will penetrate trees and travel up to a few miles through woods, depending on the density."

Engelman says the town of Thurman will be one of the first communities in the US to use white space broadcast technology to extend the reach of broadband.

He says Federal Communications Commission approved the technology just last year, following resistance from many TV and radio broadcasters who were concerned white space would interfere with their transmissions.

One downside to white space broadband, Engelman says, is that homeowners will need to purchase special receivers to use the internet.

The $200,000 grant for Thurman may go to offset some of those homeowner costs.

"We're still working on how to subsidize the equipment that goes to the customer's house…there may be a one-time cost for that equipment of between $300 and $400, and the monthly costs we're targeting are probably in the $50 range."

Engelman says he hopes the project will extend broadband access to underserved households in mountainous parts of Warren County.

The rural broadband initiative announced last week will also fund projects in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer and Washington counties.

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