Google is hoping public pressure will help it in its campaign to get the FCC to make white space spectrum available for unlicensed wireless Internet devices. The company today launched a campaign called "Free the Airwaves" that will target rural and Native American communities across the country that have inconsistent or no Internet connections.
Google has been lobbying to get this spectrum, which sits between the airwaves currently licensed to TV broadcasters, to be used to develop new mobile communications devices. However, the initiative has raised the ire of the National Association of Broadcasters, which argues that white-space devices may interfere with existing television broadcasts.
The FCC just completed field-testing of various white-space devices and is expected to report its findings on those tests. Soon after, the commission is expected to take up the contentious issue of whether the spectrum can be used for unlicensed devices or whether they pose too much of an interference threat to television broadcasters and wireless microphone users.
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
Pressure mounting in white space debate
FCC expected to release white-space findings next month