March 24, 2008

Google’s White Space Plans [1:21 pm]

Google tells FCC of “white space” airwave planspdf

In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission, Google said it would propose an enhanced system to prevent wireless devices operating in the so-called “white space” from interfering with adjacent television channels and wireless microphones.

Google said the enhancements “will eliminate any remaining legitimate concerns about the merits of using the white space for unlicensed personal/portable devices.”

The FCC’s white space testing page: TV Band Device Testing

From that page:

3/21/08
Remaining bench tests of devices for sensing in the presence of DTV signals in adjacent channels will continue from Monday (March 24, 2008) till Thursday (March 28 2008). In addition, the Laboratory plans to complete transmitter characterization for devices with such capabilities. Weather permitting; the transmitter characterization will include testing outdoor (in the open area outside the laboratory building on the FCC premises). Currently there are no plans to test on Friday (March 28, 2008).

Later: Google revives push to get free airwaves (pdf)

Google turned its attention to TV “white spaces” after it failed to win any spectrum in the recent auction by the Federal Communications Commission that raised $19.1 billion. Analysts said the company probably did not want to win any of that spectrum. Google provided the minimum $4.6-billion bid on a large nationwide group of spectrum licenses ultimately won by Verizon Wireless in an effort to ensure that those airwaves be required to be open to any device or software.

[...] “Right now they don’t think they need to own a network,” said Blair Levin, an analyst with brokerage Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., who called Google the “happy loser” in the auction.

Also, a related question: FCC Asked to Probe Auction: Failure of Public Safety Band to Draw Bids Raises Suspicion (pdf)

The failure of a Federal Communications Commission auction to draw sufficient bids to build a wireless network for emergency responders provoked sharp criticism by members of Congress, consumer groups and leaders of the 9/11 Commission yesterday. It also prompted a call to investigate whether auction rules were broken.

Nine organizations, including the Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union, wrote to FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, saying the FCC should “investigate carefully the allegations” that representatives of the nation’s police, fire and emergency officials undermined the auction. They cited reports that public-safety representatives demanded that any winner of the auction make additional payments to them.

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