Google just announced a TV white spaces trial that will provide broadband connectivity to ten schools in and around Cape Town, South Africa. Launching the test network is Google's most direct effort yet to demonstrate the potential of white spaces (unused channels in TV spectrum) as a means of delivering faster internet connectivity to the developing world and other rural areas.
But broadcasters have shown reluctance in embracing the idea out of concern it may interfere with TV service. Google will attempt to assuage those fears during the trial in two ways. First, it will use its database of available spectrum to choose channels that are least likely to cause any issues. Second, the CSIR Meraka Institute will be allowed to log spectrum measurements, reporting those results "frequently" to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to prove that nothing has gone awry. Google has been a longtime proponent of harnessing white space, and assuming the Cape Town test is a succes, it's hoping the results will boost the technology's momentum across the globe.