Carlson Wireless, Cal net Roll Out First Commercial TV White Space Broadband

Carlson Wireless announced recently that it has constructed “the nation’s first independently-funded commercial-grade TV White Space broadband network.” The deployment in California's Gold Country was done in conjunction with Cal net, a northern California ISP that's been in business since 1996 serving customers in El Dorado and Amador counties. Carlson Wireless, an Aracata, Calif.-based provider of fixed wireless microwave and UHF digital radio systems for rural broadband, and Cal net formed an alliance and obtained special temporary authority to validate the efficacy of TV band white space in real-world scenarios.

The TVWS deployment in El Dorado county uses several transmission sites to serve several hundred previously unserviceable subscribers.

Cal net CTO Ken Garnett explained, “Over 59,000 residents in our rural service area have had little or no quality Internet access. When I discovered Carlson, their White-Space network equipment was a quantum leap ahead of all other contenders. This new product allows us to serve a large contingent of these people.”

Jim Carlson, CEO, said, “Carlson specializes in rugged territory. Rural broadband has long been the focus of our efforts, and we knew as soon as the FCC set aside TVWS for broadband that this would be the preeminent solution for rural areas.”

Customers seem happy. David Coody, owner of the Jack Russell Brewery in Camino, commented, “This is a very effective tool for my business. Video conferencing was smoother than satellite, and I’m not hamstrung by its limitations. I’d highly recommend this to other businesses in rural areas.”

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack. A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.