Google, Microsoft and more than 500 colleges and universities created a new partnership with the team behind the Gig.U project, with plans to bring broadband to rural America using Super Wi-Fi, Gigaom reports.

The Air.U partnership hopes to use the abandoned television airwaves to deliver Wi-Fi like networks to rural colleges. While these networks won’t be the superfast gigabit networks research institutions will get under the Gig.U project, they could play a valuable role in getting Super Wi-Fi to the mainstream. The plan is to launch roughly six pilot projects by the first quarter of next year.

The resulting networks would use the Super Wi-Fi technology to create wireless networks that serve about a 10-kilometer radius and deliver roughly 10 Mbps of capacity per channel.

The network would consist of a base station or a series of base stations hooked into some kind of backhaul network. In rural areas that’s likely to be DSL or maybe microwave.

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