FCC Frees Up TV 'White Space'
By Mansha Daswani
Published: September 24, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The vacant spectrum between TV channels—known as "white spaces"—has been freed up by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), with a view to facilitating the rollout of high-speed wireless Internet connections.
The FCC says that unlocking this spectrum, which has been sought-after by tech giants like Microsoft, "will open the doors for new industries to arise, create American jobs, and fuel new investment and innovation." The freeing up of white spaces was a key recommendation of the U.S. government's National Broadband Plan. White spaces applications could generate more than $7 billion in economic value annually.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski noted: "As President Obama recently said, 'our nation’s success depends on strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of discovery and innovation.' Today, the Commission takes a big step to open a new platform for American innovation. This is important. It will enhance our economy and strengthen our global competitiveness, lead to billions of dollars in private investment and to valuable new products and services—some we can imagine, and many we can’t."
He continued, "We know what the first major application will be: super Wi-Fi. Super Wi-Fi is what it sounds like: Wi-Fi, but with longer range, faster speeds, and more reliable connections. We can also expect, as we’ve seen now with Wi-Fi, enhanced performance from the mobile devices using licensed spectrum that we’ve come to rely on so heavily. Other countries have been looking at Super Wi-Fi. By giving the green light now, the United States will be the first nation to deploy this technology. We can have the investment here, the intellectual property developed and the products launched here, and then export our products globally – all contributing to U.S. job creation and economic growth."
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