New VHF Broadband From CSIRO

CSIRO continues its groundbreaking work in broadband technology. After taking US based computer manufacturers to court to make them pay for Wi-Fi developed by CSIRO, work goes ahead on wireless broadband.

The new system uses ordinary VHF antennas already on rooftops. Smithton in Tasmania is the town chosen for project testing. Terminals were set up on six farms, the furthest one being 8.2 km away from the transmitter. Phone, the Internet and video were tested. A speed of 12 megabits per second was achieved using just one TV channel. VHF channels are soon to be phased out with free to air television moving to UHF.

The new broadband is very efficient. Where television had broadcast using 40 kilowatts per channel, wireless Internet worked perfectly with 3-watt. The technique of "beamforming" was used: multi-user input and spacial division multiplexing output. Work still has to be done to improve downloading capability.

Such an Internet system is of paramount importance to Australia. With such a large country and a low population fiber optics to everyone is not possible. CSIRO is concerned about mobile services getting too much of the VHF band when TV eventually ends. There is not much doubt, however, that successful wireless broadband would be given priority by any government.
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