by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
fcc, kevin martin, spectrum, white space

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.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    Lyle, 16 Oct 2008 @ 1:51am


    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 Shure.com or http://www.feb2009.com/.

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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2008 @ 6:52am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rick, 16 Oct 2008 @ 6:44pm

        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).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2008 @ 2:40am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Getyourfactsstraight, 16 Oct 2008 @ 7:46am

      Re: Have you seen

      Actually Colin Powell didnt lead us into Desert Storm...it was General Norman Schwarzkopf. So now theres no need to get angry hahaha

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Pdmonney, 17 Oct 2008 @ 6:11am

      Re: Have you seen "W"?

      You don't have to know about RF engineering to be head of the FCC. I seriously doubt the CEO of Lockeed could put together a satalite by himself. The head of the FCC has to do what every other organizations do, surround themselves with other people who does know the business

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Don, 20 Oct 2008 @ 10:58am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.