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‘White space’ broadband demonstration in Thurman streams fast video, data

Conducting a demonstration of “white space” transmission in Thurman at the home of Eric Lohrey, broadband network engineer Fred Englemann (left) examines performance data on his laptop while Thurman town supervisor Evelyn Wood (right) observes. Those attending the demonstration said they were impressed by the speed and capability of the wireless transmission of Internet videos, voice and data. A similar public demonstration is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 14 at the Thurman Town Hall, and all are invited.
Photo by Sally Feihel

Conducting a demonstration of “white space” transmission in Thurman at the home of Eric Lohrey, broadband network engineer Fred Englemann (left) examines performance data on his laptop while Thurman town supervisor Evelyn Wood (right) observes. Those attending the demonstration said they were impressed by the speed and capability of the wireless transmission of Internet videos, voice and data. A similar public demonstration is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 14 at the Thurman Town Hall, and all are invited. Photo by Sally Feihel

— Sally Feihel, who during the demonstration streamed an episode of a classic Andy Griffith Show on her iPod — while a videoconference was underway and someone else was downloading a movie — said she was surprised with the capability of the white-space transmission to accomplish so many tasks simultaneously.

“It was fast and didn’t skip a beat,” she said. “I was quite impressed.”

Also attending the demonstration was Wini Martin, co-owner of Martin’s Lumber. She said she was very pleased with how well the technology worked.

“It was just awesome,” she said. “After this system is up and running, I’ll be able to have my grand-kids watching YouTube while I download a movie on Netflix. Also, I want to want to promote our business in a broader way — This technology is great.”

Children’s education also a concern

Her husband Gary said that a reliable, fast Internet connection was vital for employment, commerce and education in rural communities like Thurman. He noted that of the 400 households in Thurman, about 300 of them are now without high-speed Internet, he said.

“White-space technology appears to be an extremely powerful engine for use in rural communities,” he said. “The Adirondacks are starving for jobs, and Adirondack businesses need high-speed broadband access,” he said. “I’m dismayed about the rumblings around town against this technology that we must have to survive.”

He added that as a school board member for 10 years, he was well aware how the town’s children needed high-speed Internet access to stay competitive in today’s world.

“Not having broadband puts our kids at a disadvantage,” he said. “This white-space technology gives them a fighting chance.”

Engineer: broadband is vital

This demonstration was conducted at the off-the-grid home of Eric Lohrey on Garnet Lake Road. He’s a civil engineer who works for clients nationally from his house. He said that the demonstration proved to him that white space offered advantages to his present satellite broadband link.

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