FCC vote on September 23 could finally open old TV White Space Spectrum for Communication

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There will a Federal Communications Commission vote on September 23, 2010 to finally open up the TV White Spaces spectrum for unlicensed usage.

TV White Spaces Second MO&O: A Second Memorandum Opinion and Order that will create opportunities for investment and innovation in advanced Wi-Fi technologies and a variety of broadband services by finalizing provisions for unlicensed wireless devices to operate in unused parts of TV spectrum.

The White space spectrum would enable communication with about wifi speed (15-100 Mbps) but with longer transmission range and are better able to penetrate walls. It would enable more competition for old telecom and cable broadband companies from companies like Google and Microsoft and new entrants. Increased competition could lower prices.

Google, Spectrum Bridge, and the Hocking Valley Community Hospital have teamed up to deploy a broadband network using the TV white spaces.

White spaces are particularly well suited to providing broadband, tech companies say, because they can penetrate walls, have plenty of network capacity and are able to cover large areas. According to Quinn, the signals can travel several miles and deliver Internet speeds ranging from 15 to 20 megabits per second – as fast as a cable modem.

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