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Claudville, Virginia, pop. 916, is making Internet history. The tiny rural community is the first place in the nation to make use of TV white spaces – broadcast frequencies freed in the transfer to digital television – for wireless high-speed Internet service.

“Due to its availability and range, TV white spaces have proved to be a very cost-effective way to distribute high-speed Internet in this heavily forested and hilly rural community,” Peter Stanforth told Reuters. Stanforth is CTO of Spectrum Bridge, one of the companies that contributed computer hardware, software and expertise to the project.

Because the white space channels can pass through walls and trees and cover long distances, they provide an ideal medium for rural broadband Internet.

Jerry Whitlow, administrator of Trinity Christian School in Claudville, told Reuters, “Our students and teachers did not have access to computers or broadband connectivity until now.”

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