Wednesday, October 15, 2008

FCC to vote on opening up "white spaces"

For nearly two years, a broad-based coalition of public interest groups and technology companies including Google has been advocating for unlicensed uses of the largely vacant airwaves between broadcast TV channels ("white spaces"). This spectrum has the potential to dramatically transform the ways Americans connect to the Internet. And over the past two months, more than 18,000 Americans have joined the effort through Free the Airwaves.

Today FCC Chairman Kevin Martin announced that he wants to move forward with final rules to open up the vacant spectrum for use by broadband devices. Furthermore, press reports today indicate that the FCC's field testing showed that "there are no major interference problems" with TV and wireless microphone signals.

This news should be greatly encouraging for American consumers. The FCC now has more than enough information to develop appropriate rules that protect TV stations and wireless microphone users from harmful interference, while at the same time allowing innovators and entrepreneurs to develop technology that productively uses these airwaves.

Chairman Martin said today that he hopes to have the full commission vote on rules to govern these airwaves at the FCC's next public meeting, scheduled for November 4th. Coincidentally enough, we've called on the FCC to take action by that day.

Now is the time for the FCC to put the power of better and faster broadband in the hands of innovators and entrepreneurs. Please sign the petition to the FCC at Free the Airwaves to help make it happen.

1 comment:

Charbax said...

What are the White Space Devices exactly going to look like?

- Are there some FON-like Fonero devices that enables Internet users to broadcast their ADSL, Cable, Fiber connections to cover their whole naborhoods with extra White Spaces Internet bandwidth on a common FON-like WiFi 2.0 network?

- Can a small Android device be made to not only scan existing used DTV and microphones channels at 0.1 seconds per channel, but also somehow connect to the Internet first to download a database of GPS/Channel data to use the GPS before going onto a channel? How do you plan to connect to the Internet to synchronize that GPS/channel database? Using HSDPA, WiFi or USB synch connection?

- How fast after the February transistion to DTV can the first fixed and portable White Space Devices become available? Are fixed devices going to happen before portable ones?

- Any need to setup some standards for optimal use of those white spaces for Internet bandwidth? For example for WiFi, there are too many encrypted connections which don't really make sense. All connections should be open and using DNS or some other login standard to identify all users that connect instead and letting the WiFi 2.0 hotspot provider throttle the bandwidth so he for example himself gets priority over neighbors.