The government gave higher education a lot of spectrum to play with, but in 2011 it’s taking the spectrum back unless universities show they’re putting it to good use. The problem: Most of them aren’t, and doubt they’ll be able to in the next year. One solution: Ball State University is selling its services as a WiMAX network manager for schools in a hurry to get up and running.
Colleges and universities across the United States are caught in an interesting
dilemma: Many, if not most, have been sitting for a few years on 2.5 GHz EBS (Educational
Broadband Service) spectrum licensed from the FCC that they could be using to operate
WiMAX networks. Few, however, are. Many lease part of what they own to companies such as
Sprint and Clearwire. But now they risk losing whatever spectrum they haven’t leased,
just when there is something interesting and useful they could be doing with it.
EBS spectrum holders face a fast-approaching use-it-or-lose-it deadline in their FCC
contracts. If they can’t show they’re making ‘substantial’ use of the spectrum by 2011,
the federal regulator will take it back.
What to do?
Ball State University (BSU) in Muncie, Indiana, the
only institution of higher learning to actually deploy a WiMAX network so far, believes
it has a solution.
Read “Ball State Aims to Be the Big WiMAX on Campus” at Wi-Fi Planet