Can’t get internet at your house? Are you and your neighbors left out of the digital world?  Are you frustrated at slow speeds if you do get on? Rural communities are increasingly left on the down side of the digital divide.  But there may be some hope.  Two years ago, televisions moved from analog to digital and the frequencies left empty are about to be used.  A new IEEE 802.22 standard will provide signal in some areas for internet service of up to 22 megabits per second.  That is faster than most of fiber connections to private homes right now!

According to this article,

The frequencies now available, from 54MHz to 698MHz, can maintain signals over vast distances, probably longer distances than sending television signals on the same frequencies. People living within 20 or 30 miles of a base station will probably have strong signals using indoor “rabbit ear” antennas. Those further away from the base transmitters will need roof-mounted antennas that will be similar to the television antennas many of us have used for decades.

Distances will vary, depending upon the terrain, but most IEEE 802.22 standard base stations will send and receive signals for about 62 miles.

The base stations most likely will be owned and operated by today’s cell phone companies and various Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, BellSouth, RoadRunner, and others.

You can expect to see this new, high-speed coverage in a few areas within a year and it will probably be available most everywhere in the U.S. within five years.