FCC’s Martin throws support toward use of white spaces

Thu, 10/16/2008 - 8:05am
Mike Robuck

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin said yesterday that he supports allowing companies to use the “white spaces” near existing TV channels to deliver wireless Internet access.

TV broadcasters, and to a lesser extent, cable operators, have opposed the use of white spaces because they fear the low-power devices will cause disruptions to their services. Martin threw his support behind the use of white spaces based on an FCC engineering study that was released yesterday.

The white spaces issue has been added to the FCC’s Nov. 4 meeting agenda for a vote by the commissioners.

Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Google are among a coalition of companies who are advocating the use of white spaces as a means to deliver wireless Internet services.

Four years ago, the FCC first proposed allowing the use of unlicensed transmitting devices within unused TV channels, subject to rules that would prevent interference with reception of licensed TV broadcast signals.

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