FCC White Spaces vote

The FCC is set to vote on the White Spaces spectrum on September 22nd. The White Space is the spectrum buffer in between TV signals that ensures channels do not interfere with each other.

As you might expect local broadcasters and the NAB hate the idea while tech companies such as Google, Microsoft and Dell (PDF) love it.

The White Space spectrum is sometimes referred to as Super Wifi because its range is longer and it can penetrate walls.  It also would be free of licensing costs.

In order to combat the NAB’s claim that over the air TV signals would be compromised, there is a database that compares a request’s location with available 6mhz channels and then sends back data when a free channel is located.

From the CBC:

The upcoming FCC vote is a welcome development for some of the country’s biggest technology companies, including Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Dell Inc. The tech industry hopes that white-spaces networks will create a multibillion-dollar market for advanced wireless devices, including laptops, set-top boxes and smart phones.

“We’ve all been chomping at the bit in the tech community … to get going with white spaces,” said Richard Whitt, Google’s Washington-based counsel for telecommunications and media. “These are highly valuable, open, unused airwaves.”

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