Kevin Martin In Favor Of Freeing Up White Space TV Spectrum

from the good-news dept

While there’s been a ton of propaganda from TV broadcasters (and, oddly, wireless microphone vendors) concerning requests from tech companies to make use of the so-called “white space” spectrum that surrounds the spectrum the TV broadcasters use, it appears that FCC boss Kevin Martin is now prepared to support freeing the spectrum for other uses. This isn’t all that surprising, given that the FCC has been pushing to free up such spectrum for years, but it is very good news. While there were some early test device failures, the problems were with the devices themselves, not in creating any interference, as the critics claim. This totally unused spectrum could open up all sorts of interesting new wireless technologies that could be tremendously useful in many different ways.

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Comments on “Kevin Martin In Favor Of Freeing Up White Space TV Spectrum”

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Lyle says:


The wireless microphone vender’s concerns are not odd in the least. Their products make use of the space between local TV stations to broadcast audio short distances. The digital TV transition will mean that effective 2.19.09 there products will be illegal to sell or operate. More information about this (including an informative video for DTV/Whitespace novices) at or

Characterizing a concern over change in policy that would make their entire business illegal as odd is in and of its self odd.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Oddly?

Hell, WIRED headphones even can be affected by this.

I purchased the surround sound headset from Razer and overall its a great set of headphones.

Except when my cell phone connects to the cell network (if I receive a phone call or text message or when it checks in to check if I have…) it causes interference on the headset.

Don’t have the issue with the cheap ones that came with my Zune. Doesn’t happen with my speakers. Just my nice headset…

I guess when I’m on call I could call it a feature for when I’m on call, except I’ve started using my headphones only for Ventrilo and let my games blast out my speakers.

Rick says:

Re: Re: Oddly?

Oddly – sounds like you have a GSM headphone. It isn’t
uncommon at all for GSM to interfere with other electronic
devices – this is a byproduct of the relatively slow rate
at which voice/data is transmitted from the handset. One concern everyone has with 700 whitespace is intereference
into TV sets – TV sets are known for having relatively
poor shielding, thus the concern about any transmitter
in 700 mhz getting through the weak shielding and causing the picture to freeze or stop playing (in the case of digital TV).

Anonymous Coward says:

Have you seen "W"?

How the hell did Kevin Martin Get his Job? I mean, really… Michael Powell was the son of Colin Powell… You know, the Guy who led us into Desert Storm.

If this bastard doesn’t know anything about RF engineering, telecommunications or the like, and we just chalk his entire experience and placement within the FCC as being some pawn that had something to do with any Florida Recount, I will be ANGRY.

Don says:

Radio Spectrum

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Personally, I think that any spectrum that is not now devoted to general purpose internet protocol is wasted. I guess I’m a radical who thinks that the “broadcast” paradigm is inherently broken. Any spectrum which is not a two way street is just broken. Now we’ll see a protracted battle between the old media and the new. We need to free all spectrum and do the 21st century equivalent of the Eisenhower interstate highway program. The government doesn’t need to pay for it. The government just needs to get out of the way.

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