The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) last Friday filed an emergency petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in order to stop the November 4th vote from taking place which may result in favorably supporting the use of "white space" spectrum. Today, Google's Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, Richard Whitt, urges all citizens to get involved in Free the Airwaves initiative; emphasizing that "it can happen only if the FCC moves forward with rules that make the best possible use of this spectrum." Whitt further explains the situation in a post on Google's Official Blog:
Last week, after many months of thorough testing, the Commission's engineers announced their conclusion that white spaces devices could operate without interfering with TV broadcasts or wireless microphone signals. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin pledged his support for opening "white space" spectrum, and announced that the Commission would vote on the issue on November 4.
Unfortunately, last Friday the broadcasting lobby filed an emergency request to stop the vote from happening. This comes despite more than four years of study, months of extensive lab and field testing by the FCC, and tens of thousands of pages of formal record material — during which the broadcasters' concerns were fully considered. As we understand it, the draft order carefully and appropriately addresses all legitimate concerns about interference, and the resulting draft rules are, if anything, overly conservative. Nonetheless, the proposed framework overall appears to be sound, and we strongly support it.
While the science should speak for itself, that won't stop the broadcasting lobby from trying to use stalling tactics to derail the technology before the rules of the road are even written. These are the same folks who over the years have sought to block one innovative technology after another, from cable TV to VCRs to satellite TV and radio to low power FM to TiVOs.
Broadcast Networks Seek ‘Time Out’ on FCC Push for White Spaces (Drew Clark, 10/23/2008)
FCC Faces Pressure to Delay TV-Airwaves Vote (WSJ, 10/23/2008)
Bill Gates Adds His Voice to White Spaces Debate (PC Magazine, 10/22/2008)
Read full story: Google Inc.
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