Wednesday, October 18, 2006

WiMAX technology private public partnership possiblity

I have some information that all of my friends in blogland may be interested in. Below is information that I received from an ETV official, Ray Sharpe about a new technology called WiMAX. This is a new term for me, maybe you’ve heard of it. You may be surprised to hear that our thrifty Governor is even interested in this partnership. Stay tuned, or should I say stay wired, or un-wired?

Kevin, I wanted to share with you what happened in our (K-12) governor's budget hearing today. Moss was questioned by the Governor about ETV's plans for the digital transition of it's instructional channels. ETV is developing plans for an exciting, new wireless broadband initiative called ETV’s Educational Broadband Service (EBS). Through a public-private partnership, this new service could conceivably create a wireless broadband service for our state. One technology that can make this all possible is WiMAX. Many in the commercial industry believe WiMAX is the next revolution in wireless.

WiMAX is an acronym that stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, a certification mark for consumer products—laptops, PDA’s, next generation cell phones. WiMAX is a new wireless technology that provides broadband connections over long distances (not to be confused with weaker Wi-Fi signals found in hotel and coffee shop “hot spots”). WiMAX can be used for a number of applications, including "last mile" Internet broadband connections, hotspots and cellular backhaul, and high-speed enterprise connectivity for business.

With ETV’s planned transition of its 67 instructional, closed-circuit ITFS channels to the new digital EBS standard, ETV can utilize and lease this spectrum for WiMAX availability all across South Carolina. ETV is planning to use this high-speed bandwidth for educational services to schools, state government services, and, through a public-private partnership, to provide stimulus for economic development opportunities. The value of a new broadband “cloud” over the entire state would be tremendous for South Carolina and ETV.