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Researchers test Wi-Fi via TV antennas

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has tested its wireless broadband technology using TV antennas
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By Josh Taylor on
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1 of 4 Geoff Ambler/CSIRO

CSIRO's Ngara system

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has started testing its wireless broadband technology, which uses existing TV antennas, at the first National Broadband Network roll-out site of Smithton in Tasmania.

The system, named Ngara (pictured above), works by installing antennas on existing TV broadcasting towers that transmit wireless broadband to households through their existing TV antennas, although slightly modified as some components in existing antennas do not allow them to be used as transmitters.

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2 of 4 CSIRO

Access point terminals

For the trial, the CSIRO set up terminals at six farms outside of Smithton ranging from 10 metres to 8.1km away from a Broadcast Australia tower. Each terminal sent video, phone or web browsing data at a rate of 12Mbps through one standard TV channel of 7MHz.

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3 of 4 CSIRO

Team waits for data

While the uplink test was a success, getting data downloaded was still a work in progress, according to CSIRO IT centre director Ian Oppermann.

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4 of 4 CSIRO

Team at the access point

"The team is only able to beam form to one user at the moment, but this is an experiment, not everything is going to work on the first go. We are confident we will get there soon," Oppermann said in a statement.

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