White Space

White Space / News Briefs

Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Others Launch the White Spaces Database Group

In the move towards enabling mobile devices to use TV white spaces spectrum, Google along with Comsearch, Dell, HP, Microsoft, Motorola, and Neustar today announced the launch of White Spaces Database Group. The creation of this database has been part of FCC's big vote and approval of white spaces for broadband back in November. This is a required measure to ensure devices can locate channels and avoid interference. more

Broadband Now: Yes We Can… Stimulate the Economy, Says Industry Association

With the upcoming inauguration of United States' 44th President, USTelecom Association has released a Broadband Now video highlighting challenges facing the country, and how broadband can make a significant difference. From revitalizing the economy to tackling health care, education and global climate change, broadband can play a vital role, says the association which represents broadband service providers, manufacturers and suppliers providing advanced applications and entertainment. more

FCC Free Wireless Internet Plan Opposed by White House

Bush administration officials are trying to put the brakes on the Federal Communications Commission's plan to encourage a free, national wireless Internet plan, which the agency could approve next week. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez sent a letter to the agency's Republican chairman Wednesday afternoon expressing the administration's displeasure with the idea. "The administration believes that the (airwaves) should be auctioned without price or product mandate," Mr. Gutierrez wrote. more

FCC Approves White Space for Broadband in Unanimous Vote

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today approved, in a 5-0 unanimous vote, the plan to open up unused, unlicensed portions of TV white space spectrum for wireless applications and devices. However, to prevent interference, FCC has also placed some "rigorous certification process" which device offered by a technology company for use on the white spaces will have to go through. more

Google Wants the Other Important Vote to Also Take Place on the Election Day

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... more

Google's Larry Page Says Whitespace Tests Were Rigged

Google's Co-Founder Larry Page said today that recent tests conducted by the FCC that determined mobile devices in the so-called "white space" spectrum can cause interference with microphones and TV stations were rigged and shouldn't serve as the basis for government policy. Speaking at a Wireless Innovation Alliance event hosted by the New America Foundation here, Page said "I'm telling you the test was rigged" and urged the FCC to act on a proposal to free up the spectrum, slices of the airwaves set aside so that broadcast stations don't interfere with each other. more

FCC Banning Wireless Devices that Interfere with White Spaces Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a ban on some wireless microphones and other low-powered devices that operate in the 700-MHz band after the digital TV transition in February, next year. This is part of an attempt to clear any potential interference with the "white spaces" spectrum which will be fully available for "public safety as well as commercial wireless services". more

Why Broadband Competition Is As Good As It Gets, Explains Telecom Analyst

Broadband competition in the US is as good as it gets in the foreseeable future and will potentially decrease according to telecom and tech regulatory analyst, Blair Levin. "There's not that much left to be disruptive," Levin said. "White spaces could be in rural areas, and a little bit in broadband, but I don't think so. Other things that people are looking to be disruptive I don't think will happen." more

Google Launches Free The Airwaves, Pushing White Spaces Issue

Google has announced today the launch of a new website promoting the unlicensed use of "white space" spectrum. The initiative is called "Free The Airwaves" which encourages Internet users to get proactive on the white spaces issue, if they "care about the future of the Internet." Minnie Ingersoll, Google Product Manager, explains in a related blog post: "For quite some time we've been talking about the potential of the unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels ("white spaces") to provide affordable, high-speed wireless Internet connectivity nationwide. For this to happen, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must allow unlicensed use of this spectrum..." more

White Space Spectrum No Threat to Current TV Broadcasting and Wireless Microphones, Says Google

In a post today on Google's Public Policy blog, Senior Staff Engineer, Phil Gossett, addresses complaints from companies such as MTV that TV white space devices would harm their ability to use wireless microphones for performances. From today's post: "In previous postings, we've made the case that the TV "white spaces" could be used to provide broadband internet for all Americans without harming current users of this spectrum (TV broadcasters and wireless microphone users). In a new white paper, we make the case that better use of the white spaces could actually lead to new, vastly superior wireless microphones, rather than pose a threat to live events." more

Google Finally Talks About 700 MHz Auction Results

For three weeks at the end of January and early February, a small team of us holed up in double super secret "war rooms" in Mountain View, CA and Washington, D.C. to bid on Google's behalf in the FCC spectrum auction. Bidding took place electronically, and literally billions of dollars were at stake with every mouse click. And because of the FCC's strict anti-collusion rules, we couldn't tell a soul what was going on behind closed doors... more

Quite Period for 700 Mhz Auction Winners Has Ended, What They're Saying

Now that FCC rules prohibiting participants in the 700Mhz auction from commenting have expired, everybody involved in the auction is naturally very chatty. The two biggest winners, AT&T and Verizon, confirmed plans to use the newly acquired spectrum to begin building out LTE infrastructure. Prototype LTE test systems using 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antennas have achieved download speeds faster than 300Mbps, though obviously early telco deployments won't be remotely close to those speeds (probably closer to 10Mbps or so initially). more

FCC Ends 700 MHz Spectrum Auction, Raising $19.6 Billion

The controversial 700-MHz spectrum auction has closed, raising $19.59 billion, a record for a spectrum auction in the U.S. according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The 700-MHz auction was the first to require anonymous bidding, and the FCC has not yet revealed which companies won the rights to the bands that were sold. more

700MHz Block C Hits Reserve Price

After 17 rounds, the 700MHz spectrum auction has finally hit its one of its most closely watched targets: bidding on Block C has surpassed the Federal Communications Commission's mandated $4.638 billion reserve, meaning that the FCC's mandated open access rules will come into play. Bids on the block of spectrum totaled $4.744 billion after Round 17. more

From Google to the FCC, New Race for America's Last Broadcast Spectrum Holds Many Secrets

Robert X. Cringely on Popular Mechanics: "Some pundits (that would be me) think Google will bid to win its spectrum block, then will trade that block to Sprint/Nextel for some of that company's 2.5-GHz WiMAX licenses that are far better suited for data. Sprint Nextel, the number three U.S. mobile operator, is conspicuously absent from this week's list of bidders, and its WiMAX strategy is in flux following the recent firing of CEO Gary Forsee, who was a big WiMAX backer..." more