FCC Says White-Space Spectrum Device Doesn't Work

from the proto-failure dept

A gaggle of tech companies, led by Google and Microsoft, have been pushing the FCC to open up the “white space” spectrum — open airwaves in between those used by TV broadcasts — for use by electronic devices and broadband services. This has been talked about for quite some time, and represents one way to more efficiently use spectrum, which is a finite and very valuable resource. The group delivered a prototype to the FCC earlier this year, as a way to show that the technology to allow devices to automatically detect what spectrum’s in use and what’s available, and route communications accordingly, is viable. The FCC’s been testing it for several months, and it’s all good, except for one little problem: it doesn’t actually work. The Commission says the prototype couldn’t detect TV broadcasts, and it also sometimes interfered with them. While this current iteration of the technology sounds like a failure, the FCC is still open to the idea of allowing use of the white spaces; now Google, Microsoft and their friends just need to get the technology right before things can move forward.

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Companies: fcc, google, microsoft

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Comments on “FCC Says White-Space Spectrum Device Doesn't Work”

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Slightly Confused says:

Why Bother?

Aren’t we about to have a spectrum auction that will take these exact airways and sell them for this exact purpose? Please forgive me if I’m wrong, but within a few years this ‘while spectrum device’ will be a moot point and completely useless … right? And even though it would be useful until then, it probably wouldn’t make much, if any, money for whoever invests in it.

Phil says:

Who actually built and designed this device? If it was in-house at Google and/or Microsoft it isn’t much surprise that the device didn’t work. This type of thing should be made an organization that has, you know, actual experience building communication equipment.

By the way, they submitted two devices. The second worked acceptably even though it was supposed to not yet be ready.

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