Prototype Internet device defective, says Microsoft

Microsoft revealed that its prototype for beaming high-speed Internet service over unused television airways failed a government test because the device was broken, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted the Federal Communications Commission as saying that the device did not reliably detect unoccupied spectrum and could interfere with other TV programming and wireless microphone signals.

Microsoft sent the agency a letter explaining that a subsequent test determined the equipment was defective, the report said.

Representatives for Microsoft and other technology companies met with FCC engineers last week and determined the device 'was working improperly and an internal component was broken,' Microsoft's managing director for government affairs, Jack Krumholtz, said in a statement.

An FCC spokesman declined to comment on the matter.

Microsoft said in an FCC filing that it sent a duplicate device that was functioning properly, but that the agency never tested it.

The coalition submitted two prototype devices, one developed by Microsoft and another developed by Phillips Electronics North America, a division of Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics.

The coalition said the Philips device was able to detect both TV and wireless microphone signals in a laboratory setting.

The FCC's engineering office plans to hold a hearing to provide an overview of the tests and consider suggestions for further evaluation of the devices, the report said.