The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is close to passing a proposal that would free up the vacant spectrum between TV channels, known as white space, which would allow technology and telecommunications companies to introduce new wireless devices and services. Technology companies want to use the white space because signals sent on that spectrum can travel long distances and move through buildings, enabling the companies to build wireless networks that are stronger than current Wi-Fi hot spots.
The empty airwaves "represent a unique opportunity to spark next-generation broadband networks across the country," says Google's Rich Whitt. "We're very eager for the commission to give the green light to start innovating and building new services on these airwaves."
Some of the white space is needed to prevent TV signals from bleeding into each other, and broadcasters and wireless-microphone users worry that using the spectrum will cause interference. However, FCC officials have recently met with broadcasters and other interested parties to discuss the remaining obstacles to freeing up the vacant spectrum. The issue could come to a vote as soon as the FCC's September meeting.
From The Wall Street Journal
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