NEWS: FCC approves use of "white space" spectrum

FCC Opens New Airwaves to the Public

Regulators, siding with techs like Google and Microsoft, rule that "white space" freed up by digital TV is best used for high-speed wireless hot spots

While the country was picking its next President on Nov. 4, the Federal Communications Commission federal communications commission was making its own momentous decision. The country's top communications regulator unanimously voted to free up the biggest ever swath of airwaves to be used by the public for cheap high-speed wireless Internet access.

The vote came after more than six years of public scrutiny and decides the fate of airwaves that will be made available when television broadcasts switch over to digital signals from analog in February. A broad coalition of opponents, including lawmakers, musicians, and broadcasters, argued that free public use of the airwaves would interfere with TV broadcasts and wireless microphones. ...

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and fellow commissioners unanimously sided with tech giants Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Dell (DELL), and Philips Electronics North America (PHG) in ruling that Americans would be better served if the spectrum were made available for free public use. ...

Whole-Neighborhood Hotspots

The new airwaves, known as white spaces, could be used to create wireless hot spots akin to those created by Wi-Fi technology that let users communicate wirelessly within homes and throughout neighborhoods. But unlike Wi-Fi zones, these airwaves will enable faster downloads of large data files, such as video clips and feature-length films, over larger distances and at a lower cost. ...

The spectrum's ability to transmit data and calls at long distances and through walls would allow cheap community broadband networks to cover city neighborhoods and even entire towns, bypassing and creating added competition with traditional providers of telecommunication services, such as Comcast (CMCSA), Verizon Communications (VZ), and AT&T (T). Motorola expects to cover 15 square miles with one access point using this spectrum and WiMax-like technology, which is currently used only on licensed spectrum. The setup would allow a new breed of carrier to rise up and provide wireless broadband in rural areas without having to dole out millions of dollars on spectrum. Motorola hopes to have new gear that works in white spaces within a year.

... Opponents will try to reverse the FCC's decision once the new President comes into power. ...

Reply to
John Navas
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Are they going to sell the spectrum as in cell phones or is this more of a passive allocation as current WiFi, Family Radio Service, etc.

Reply to
Kurt Ullman

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"The rules adopted today will allow for the use of these new and innovative types of unlicensed devices in the unused spectrum to provide broadband data and other services for consumers and businesses."

If you really want to wade through the "Wireless Innovation Alliance", who have been pushing this, fact sheets they are at:

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Oops! Correct URL is

On Wed, 05 Nov 2008 09:23:19 -0800, John Navas wrote in :

Reply to
John Navas

On Wed, 05 Nov 2008 12:29:13 -0500, Kurt Ullman wrote in :

The proposal is for *unlicensed* use (like Wi-Fi) -- see

Reply to
John Navas

Look what the cat dragged in - John Navas:

It's called "Spin".

Reply to
Axel Hammerschmidt

Why is it that I associate "Hammer" with ugliness?

He doesn't show up much here, but I remember that feeling.

Must be a private conversation between him and John.

Reply to

The FCC have published some rules for the use of this spectrum:-

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