FCC commissioner optimistic white-space will pass

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell said he was "optimistic" the commission would approve the use of white-space spectrum for unlicensed wireless applications and devices when it meets Nov. 4. "I'm very optimistic. I think this could be a 5-to-0 vote," he said. "The order itself is a very tight box. Each device still has to be certified by the FCC."

The FCC has been receiving a slew of pleas from both sides on the issue ahead of the vote. Companies such as Google, Microsoft and Motorola have argued that opening up the white-space spectrum--the narrow bands of unused spectrum that sits between airwaves currently used by TV broadcasters--will lead to increased broadband access for rural parts of the United States, among other potential benefits. The National Association of Broadcasters, along with an increasing cohort of musicians argue that doing so will lead to too much interference with broadcast TV stations and possibly with wireless microphones.

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