Welcome to the "Beyond the Walls" Initiative
Tens of millions of people in the U.S. rely solely or in part on public libraries to access Internet. Libraries are crucial in connecting communities. With TV WhiteSpace technology people can connect beyond library walls. Thanks to a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the “Beyond The Walls” Initiative provides five $15,000 sub-awards to libraries for the most innovative proposals to use TV WhiteSpace (TVWS) technologies to enable new library hotspots in the service of their communities. Winning projects were announced May 9, 2017 and projects will be implemented during the summer of 2017. Check back here periodically for updates.
TVWS uses the unused spectrum in the TV bands. It can deliver broadband to a hotspot miles away, even passing through trees, buildings or other obstructions. Installing TVWS hotspots can improve your community’s resilience by adding another communication capability for disaster preparedness.
- Support access and inclusion to under and unserved populations.
- Show creativity in thinking of new ways and locations to install remote library WiFi access points.
- Form key collaborations among community stakeholders, such as schools, museums, health clinics, community centers, post offices, shelters, etc.
- Demonstrate commitment to the project from proposal partners and supporters as well as to the overall learning and knowledge base we’ll be creating together.
- Integrate TVWS into disaster preparedness planning.
Unused license-free radio frequencies in the TV broadcast bands, available for anyone to use for wide area data communications. Wikipedia
Two things at least!
-Residing in lower radio frequencies, TVWS signals have the capability to travel for miles and pass through or around obstructions like trees and buildings that otherwise block or interfere higher frequency radios like traditional WiFi.
-No single entity owns or controls this powerful valuable open radio spectrum other than the public itself through its regulatory agency, the FCC.
That is THE question! How indeed? What we have seen already is that the most obvious benefit is that your library can provide more convenient WiFi access for the community in new places never before served. Parks, shelters, playgrounds, senior centers, post offices, and more are all candidates as new library hotspot locations. If you haven’t already, take 2 minutes for video to see more possibilities. But think up your own! Put it into a proposal and send it in! Your community will thank you.