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Based in Rosslyn Bitpath is working to deploy a 21st century use for a mid-century technology: television broadcasting.
The company claims that the architecture used by TV stations to broadcast their programming can also support secure and efficient transmission of data. After all, TV and radio broadcasters and mobile phone service providers all send information wirelessly in the same way, using radio frequency spectrum.
“We are trying to be innovative and smart about how the radio frequency spectrum is used,” said John Hane, president of the startup.
The ability to reuse broadcast television for data services already has the approval of the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates broadcast airwaves. But broadcasters have yet to jump on the new technology because they are too small and too decentralized – relatively speaking – to do research and development and deliver the services nationwide, Hane said.
Bitpath was founded to do just that, he said. The startup is developing a platform made up of a nationwide network of TV channels and aims to market it to companies that could benefit from better and more secure data services. Bitpath is funded by big players in the TV industry, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Nexstar Media Group, who want to deploy this technology.
And Hane said Bitpath may be fully operational soon.
” We will be launch services next year, ”said the president.
This streaming innovation comes as more and more “smart” devices come online competing for fast, high-quality data streaming, while the major mobile service providers are coming online. the deployment of 5G to meet the growing demand for data. But no matter how fast these networks are, networks still have to transmit data through individual streams, which Hane says slows things down.
“The good thing about the broadcast architecture is that it never slows down,” he said. “This frees up the cellular network to be used for critical uses that can only be done this way.”
People turn to the Internet, even when broadcasting makes more sense – for example, broadcasting a big sporting event – because they are used to the personalization offered by the Internet. Bitpath’s innovations integrate delivery efficiency with Internet personalization, Hane said.
Consumers will one day see the technology in action in various ways, he said. Regional TV channels will be able to broadcast political advertisements or more personalized weather alerts. GPS resolution on devices will become more precise, improving the ability of a navigation application to locate a driver and therefore the quality of directions. And the security can be improved for some applications.
“You associate the television channels with the provision of television. That’s the majority of what they’re going to do, but a small part of their capacity can provide some amazing new services, ”Hane said.
Hane says mobile service providers have been able to lead the way in this territory because they weren’t as regulated as TV broadcasting.
“Cellular networks have grown so quickly because there has been so much investment in them,” Hane said. “We use them for just about everything, even when we don’t realize it doesn’t make the best economic sense. “
For Bitpath’s project to work, it needs to ensure that the hardware is consistent enough for e-commerce companies, automakers, and banks to buy it.
“They will want fully developed services and a platform that works the same everywhere,” he said. “They will have a point of contact, a set of standards, a set of operations and a point of support, but the capacity actually includes stations across the country owned by 20 different owners.”