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TV White Spaces Just the Beginning: Secondary Use of the Spectrum

Yesterday, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to allow qualified devices to operate on a license-exempt basis in unused portions of TV channels 2-51, spectrum commonly referred to as "TV white spaces." A lot has already been written about this move... But what is missing in these discussions is the bigger picture. more»

FCC Approves White Space Devices: The Dawn of the Age of Opportunistic Spectrum Reuse

Yesterday will go down in history as a bellwether moment. Few among us will soon forget the excitement of Obama's election. But there was an equally historic vote yesterday that for geeks, policy analysts, and technologists represents an entirely new trajectory in telecommunications. In essence, the FCC has begun the transition from command-and-control, single-user spectrum licensure to a more distributed system that holds the potential to eliminate the artificial scarcity that prevented widespread access to the public airwaves since 1927. more»

FCC Vote Results: We the People Won

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has just voted to open up the so called TV Whitespaces for UNLICENSED use. This is incredibly good news for rural America in particular but actually for all of America. It's not as important as the election the rest of us in the US voted in today -- but this action is a very, very big deal. Just a few of the benefits... more»

The Real White Spaces Debate: To Create or Abolish a Market in the Airwaves

I've been following the "white spaces" for as long as it has been happening -- four, maybe five years -- and I must admit that I am surprised by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's sudden fondness for them. Until the last days of his chairmanship, Martin never cared for this somewhat radical notion: allowing techies and community activists to spew electromagnetic frequencies in zones currently occupied (at least ostensibly) by the broadcasters. more»

The Other Vote on November 4th

The vote that Federal Communications Commissioners are planning for November 4 is not as important as the voting we'll do on that day, but it does matter a lot to the future of the United States. Unless the forces opposed to progress manage to postpone FCC action (which they are trying very hard to do), the FCC could decide to set the stage for another generation of innovative products with which the US will strengthen its competitive position in global markets... more»

White Spaces: Timing

Last week's emergency petition by the broadcasters to delay the FCC's Nov. 4 vote is just part of the white spaces atmosphere right now. Ars Technica reports that the mud is really flying -- the broadcasters are accusing proponents of white space use of wanting to kill off television. It's a familiar argument -- "If you do Y, broadcast television as we know it will be destroyed." more»

White Spaces: The NAB vs. Reality

One of Washington's most powerful corporate lobbies is at it again. Raising a dust cloud of lies in a last-ditch effort to stop new technology that could better the lives of millions. For more than five years, now, the television broadcast lobby has tried to deny the American public access to white spaces -- unused airwaves that sit vacant between TV channels. Technology now exists that would tap the near limitless potential of these airwaves and deliver high-speed Internet services to tens of millions of people now left on the wrong side of the digital divide. more»

Beyond White Spaces

Back in 1999 I wrote a column that envisioned the uses of digital wireless in the home. I compared two nascent, much-touted wireless protocols, Bluetooth and HomeRF. I completely, totally, slippery-dash missed Wi-Fi. There had been a public 802.11 spec since 1997. The first 802.11b devices, which made Wi-Fi popular, burst onto the scene in early 2000, just a few short months after my clueless insights. Today HomeRF is forgotten, Bluetooth is for ugly ear jewelry and Wi-Fi rulz... more»

White Spaces News… Interesting First Step

When the U.S. Digital Television Transition (DTV) transition happens in Feb. 2009, channels 2 through 51 will remain allocated for television transmission. Few of the nation's television markets actually use 49 channels. Indeed, most use less than half of that number... Today, with Congress in recess, leaving less room for last-minute-Lucy-with-the-football lobbying gambits, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appears to be poised to release a report saying the white spaces can be used without necessarily causing interference to existing broadcasts. There are still many questions to be answered... more»

Broadband Data Improvement Act Passes Senate, House, A.K.A. Find Why U.S. is on Continuous Decline

In a major win for the public interest, the Broadband Data Improvement Act passed the Senate (on September 26th) and the House (on September 29th). Due to amendments, it now goes back to the Senate for final approval (should be pro-forma) before it lands on George Bush's desk. With the United States falling further and further behind a host of other countries, the question on many people's minds (including the folks over at Point-Topic who created this graphic) is, "Why is this happening?" more»