Parks Associates Blog

Saturday, September 25, 2010

FCC opens up "white space" to promote "super-Wi-Fi" development

On September 23, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took steps to free up vacant airwaves between TV channels - called “white spaces” - to unleash a host of new technologies, such as “super Wi-Fi.”

According to Fierce Cable, the spectrum will be most available in rural and suburban areas where there are fewer TV stations and more spectrum. Larger cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, with already crowded airwaves, are expected to feel less impact, although super WiFi, with its ability to penetrate buildings, is an attractive technology there.

The commission's decision was made over broadcaster protests that using that spectrum--freed up as part of the analog-to-digital transition--might interfere with their signals.

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell went so far as to suggest that using white spaces could negate the need for net neutrality broadband regulations because super WiFi devices running in the new spectrum will offer a "competitive alternative to existing broadband providers."

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