FCC publishes white spaces rules

Light Reading

In its continuing efforts to promote efficient use of spectrum and to extend the benefits of such use to the public, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today adopted a Second Report and Order (Second R&O) that establishes rules to allow new, sophisticated wireless devices to operate in broadcast television spectrum on a secondary basis at locations where that spectrum is open. (This unused TV spectrum is now commonly referred to as television “white spaces”).

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FCC votes unanimously to allow unlicensed use of white spaces

office of Rep. Jay Inslee

Today, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) expressed his support for the unanimous vote of the Federal Communications Commission to approve the unlicensed use of vacant gaps in television spectrum, or white spaces, for wireless broadband technologies. Extensive tests on laboratory prototype devices over the last eighteen months proved that white space devices have the strong potential to successfully and safely expand broadband internet access in rural and underserved areas.

"I applaud the FCC for their decision today to approve the Order that will let white space technologies be developed," said Inslee, a leading white spaces advocate in Congress. "By unleashing the talents of America s top minds in telecommunications engineering, this vote will usher in a new era of innovation and will make possible revolutionary technologies we can t even dream of today."

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Martin cancels election day vote on telecom overhaul - white spaces vote to proceed

JOELLE TESSLER, Associated Press

The head of the Federal Communications Commission has canceled a controversial Election Day vote on a proposed overhaul of telecommunications regulations that many consumer advocates feared would lead to higher phone bills.

Abandoning the vote is a setback for FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, one of three Republicans on the five-member commission, who had hoped to pass his proposal before power changes hands in Washington. Martin pulled the item from the agenda for Tuesday's FCC meeting amid mounting opposition from many corners of the telecommunications industry, consumer groups, Congress — and even his fellow FCC commissioners.

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People of color show greater DTV awareness

This Week in Consumer Electronics

Hispanic and African-American residents showed a significant increase in awareness of the transition to digital television broadcasting, according to the latest poll release by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Thursday.

The NAB’s national telephone survey of 4,402 households conducted between Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 found 92 percent of Hispanic respondents were aware that broadcast television signals will be switching to an all-digital format, a 4-point jump since NAB’s May survey, the NAB said.

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White spaces supporters bend FCC's ear

Matt Kapko,

Last week, opponents of the FCC's plan to auction off white-space spectrum ramped up their lobbying effort. This week, proponents of the plan got their turn. Google ( NSDQ: GOOG), Microsoft ( NSDQ: MSFT) and Motorola?all heavy-hitting supporters of the measure?have begun weighing in with phone calls to FCC Chair Kevin Martin, who backs the plan. There's still plenty of debate over the airwaves that sit adjacent to TV broadcast signals and T-Mobile's 3G network: Some broadcasters say it will interfere with their networks, while other people (including FCC engineers) say technology can maintain each network's integrity.

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Bill Gates adds his voice to white spaces debate

Chloe Albanesius, PC Magazine

Bill Gates is jumping into the white spaces debate.

The Microsoft chairman on Monday spoke separately with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin and Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps to urge passage of a final white spaces rule on November 4.

"Mr. Gates observed that adopting the flexible operating rules advocated by the White Spaces Coalition is essential in enabling white space devices that will provide affordable broadband opportunities and create new markets for innovative applications and services," Edmond Thomas, senior technology policy adviser to the White Spaces Coalition, wrote in a Tuesday letter to the FCC.

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Portlanders face hurdle in switch to digital TV

by Mariah Summers, Willamette Week

Are you ready for Digital TV? If you're a Portlander, there's a good chance the answer is no.

Ready or not, all analog television channels are switching to the digital format in less than four months.

That means if you don't subscribe to cable or satellite and don't have a digital converter box—as is the case for almost one-quarter of Portland residents—your television will be about as useful as a brick come Feb. 17, 2009.

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Support grows for analog extension after DTV switch date


DTV Education, Public Safety Messages Could Be Transmitted On Analog Beyond Deadline

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FCC lukewarm on networks' request to delay white space vote

by Matthew Lasar, Ars Technica

The Federal Communications Commission says it will consider a broadcaster plea to delay its November 4 vote on whether to authorize unlicensed white space devices (WSDs). But judging from the Commission's initial response, the agency doesn't sound crazy about the idea.
FCC report: White space devices work as "proof of concept"

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New legislation could delay Feb. DTV transition date

By Jacqueline Emigh, BetaNews

Legislation now proposed in the US Congress would effectively postpone the February 17, 2009 date for the switchover to all-digital TV. Today, the NAB came out in support of that measure, with Nielsen data to back it up.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey