While select outfits race to make satellite broadband an acceptable solution for those who need ping times south of three digits, there's another game in town looking to quietly revolutionize rural access. As LTE slowly rolls out to major metropolitan areas in the United States, vacated spectrum is allowing companies like Carlson Wireless to offer up another option. TV white spaces -- unused TV channels freed up after the analog-to-digital transition of 2009 -- have long since been eyed as the answer for distributing high-speed internet to areas that aren't economical to reach via wireline, or are otherwise shunned by conventional wireless operators.
Armed with an FCC-granted Special Temporary Authority to validate the efficacy of the product in real-world scenarios, Carlson has partnered with Cal.net in order to bring internet to sections of California's Gold Country; the project comprises multiple transmission sites delivering broadband to several hundred heretofore un-serviceable subscribers in El Dorado County. There's no word on pricing, but we're sure hoping it's a runaway hit -- we can think of plenty of gorgeous locales in this country that could stand a pinch of internet. (Yellowstone National Park, we're looking at you.)