It's certainly not new news that Google is investigating the notion of using "white spaces," or unlicensed spectrum that sit between airwaves currently licensed to TV broadcasters. But it's interesting that the company, which filed to bid in the January 700 MHz spectrum auction, seems to be stepping up its efforts in the area, recently presenting results of an "initial phase of ongoing trials" around white space technology it says demonstrates digital televisions and wireless services can exist side-by-side without interference. White space is certainly a more favorable alternative for a company that would be required to bid billions for spectrum and spend billions more to build out a network in the 700 MHz band--especially if it desires to just build a network solely to offer wholesale access to resellers.
Good new for Google, however. The FCC appears committed to making sure that white space spectrum will facilitate broadband competition it desires. Earlier this year, a group of high-tech companies that include Google, Intel, Dell, HP and Microsoft, which collectively formed the White Space Coalition,Â delivered to the FCC two WiFi devices the group claimed operated in this spectrum without interfering with high-definition TV. However, the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology has found through preliminary trials of the prototypes that "the transmitter in the prototype device is capable of causing interference to TV broadcasting and wireless microphones."
In October, the FCC said it will continue to test whether WiFi and other short-range wireless technology enabled devices can work in the white spaces between TV broadcast spectrum
For more on the tests:
- read this report from MarketWatch