Pioneer Telephone Cooperative is beginning a customer trial of a new wireless home networking system that will enable subscribers to stream digital TV content to any corner of the home using standard 802.11g Wi-Fi technology.
The technology is being provided by Ruckus Wireless. The Ruckus “smart Wi-Fi” system is a directional system that selects the best path at any given time for a specific type of multimedia content. If any given path experiences interference, the Ruckus system automatically steers the traffic over another path in real-time and ensures up to 20 Mbps of consistent bandwidth to every location in the home so there is no interruption in Wi-Fi transmissions.
Scott Ulsaker, video products manager for Pioneer, said the Ruckus system shrugged off interference from microwave ovens, tread mill machines, dishwashers, variable speed fans and even grinders. According to Ulsaker, the ultimate test was placing a Ruckus access unit upside down in a file cabinet in a completely metal building. “We put the Ruckus receiver in a pickup truck and began streaming IPTV signals from the access unit to the Ruckus receiver. Then we drove the pickup truck off to see how far we could get before the stream stopped. To our amazement, we got nearly a block away before the video stopped,” he said.
Pioneer is planning a phased rollout of the Ruckus Wi-Fi system as part of its popular broadband services throughout this year. Pioneer has more than 20,000 broadband subscribers throughout 76 cities and towns.