Lawmakers jump into fray over white-space

Lawmakers stepped into the battle over white-space on Friday, with members of the House of Representatives urging a delay on the proposed Nov. 4 FCC vote, and U.S. Sen. John Kerry pressing the case for a vote.

The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote on Nov. 4 on whether to allow TV white-space to be used for unlicensed wireless applications and devices, the position supported by the likes of Google, Motorola and Microsoft, among others. The National Association of Broadcasters, which vehemently opposes the move because they say it will cause too much interference, has filed an emergency petition to essentially delay the vote by asking for more time for public comment. They were joined Thursday by eight House members who, in a letter to the five FCC commissioners, urged the FCC to extend the public comment period to 60 days.

"Priority must be given to making the final decision a transparent and fair process," they said in the letter. "To justify a major spectrum policy decision on a 400-page technical report without a formal open comment period appears to violate this very basic premise of good government."

However, Sen. John Kerry sent a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin urging the FCC to vote on the matter and approve the use of white-space spectrum for mobile and fixed wireless applications.

"This approach will encourage innovative new broadband offerings and services for use by the American people," Kerry wrote.  "I also urge you to consider steps to provide appropriate levels of protection for incumbents, while avoiding unnecessary restrictions that may render the white space devices unfeasible."

For more:
- see this article
- see Kerry's letter

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