New “Super” Connection is in the Future for some

Super fast, super convenient, super Wi-Fi.

New advances in the Internet world are being made. Expected to launch in early 2011, Super Wi-Fi will be the most recent “gadget” out there.

Even with traffic clogging the bandwidth at Penn Manor, technology experts here see other solutions to be more practical and accessible than Super Wi Fi.

Charlie Reisinger, head of the Penn Manor technology team, is well aware of the slow Internet connections at the high school.

“During marking period 1, we experienced a significant surge in Internet use” and  “a large portion of the surge can be attributed to increased classroom use” of “Internet resources such as Moodle Tools, Study Island, Google Docs and streaming video sites,” said Reisinger.

“The surge in traffic exceeded our available bandwidth, which in turn caused the network to feel sluggish from time to time.”

To help fix this problem, the district has doubled the available Internet bandwidth by augmenting the current connection with additional connectivity from Comcast.

The tech staff has implemented a number of network changes to help increase web browsing speed. In the future, they are looking to expand the bandwidth even farther.

Chad Billman, a member of Penn Manor’s technology team, explained that “our Internet is provided by Millersville University. We have a direct fiber optic link to the campus.”

At Penn Manor, “we are already mostly wireless. At the high school alone we have 440 student laptops and 150 staff laptops that are all wireless,” explained Billman.

The FCC is a government agency that regulates communications. Photo courtesy of businesspundit.com

Super Wi-Fi is on the near horizon but probably not at Penn Manor, at least not this year.

“It seems very unlikely that we would utilize this type of technology for student/staff member computers. Even assuming Super Wi-Fi provided us with additional bandwidth, it will take a long time until the technology starts appearing as standard options on our laptops,” Billman said.

Even though Super Wi-Fi is not in use yet, many are already depending on its success.

Google, Dell and Microsoft are all preparing for newer developments which could possibly build into a multi-billion dollar market. This means our laptops, smart phones, and wireless doodads may see some big changes in available functions and quality of internet connections.

Many are wondering where the technology was discovered and developed. All credit goes to the Federal Communications Commission,the independent agency of the US government that works towards six goals: broadband, competition, spectrum, media, public safety and homeland security.

Just like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the proposal given by the FCC would enable white spaces to be available for free.

To enable this technology to be used, the transition from analog to digital TV broadcasting needed to occur. Many people don’t realize that in 2009 when we had to update our televisions, we actually opened up the airwaves enough for the FCC to work with this new idea.

The problem? TV broadcasting signal disruption. This is expected to be resolved by what the FCC has been doing: mapping TV channels everywhere across the US. By figuring out where the interferences may occur, the company will set aside a few channels for minor uses of the wireless program, simply to avoid their airwaves.

Super Wi-Fi may change the way we use the internet in the future. Photo courtesy of udh.edu

The FCC is also focusing on bandwidth of Super Wi-Fi, but hasn’t increased its numbers yet. If this is accomplished, the connection will most likely catch on more quickly.

“The last I heard, the maximum bandwidth expected using Super Wi-FI is 15 Mbs-20 Mbs,” Billman said. “Even our oldest access points provide 54 Mbs of bandwidth. The current access points utilize 802.11n which theoretically provides up to 600 Mbs.”

But regardless of the current speeds and distances, this product is expected to be a great resource not just regular people, but authorities too.

Some uses such as home wireless networking, transferring videos back and forth from TV and computer, and supplying emergency services are expected by the technology companies. Another big perk would be the use of Super Wi-Fi to get high speed internet to those in places where the landlines are unable to get broadband. Also, some feeds will even include traffic and surveillance camera features.

“This will probably result in more internet enabled devices being available to the public,” commented Billman, “our new acceptable use policy would allow the personal devices to be used by students. This becomes a classroom management issue because more and more students would have access to unfiltered internet.”

Predictions have concluded that Super Wi-Fi will be just as popular as the original Wi-Fi connections.

By Christa Charles