Back in 2010, it was reported that the FCC and Google had been working with moving forward with white spaces, which are unused television bands that can be used for ultra-fast wifi connections. The National Association of Broadcasters had objected to this, citing that using prime spectrum white spaces for broadband internet connectivity might interfere with existing television broadcasts. Now the NAB has withdrawn its legal objection, further clearing the way for a white spaces rollout.
In 2009, the NAB sued the FCC over white spaces, stating that the program “will have a direct adverse impact on NAB’s members because it will allow harmful interference with reception of their broadcast signals.” The white spaces have been historically used as a buffer to prevent interfering signals. But then on Thursday, NAB withdrew its own lawsuit, citing that the FCC had adjusted to the interference concerns. The Wireless Innovation Alliance calls the legal green light a “major step forward,” and states that the “NAB should be congratulated for withdrawing its court challenge to the FCC’s white space order.”
The remaining white spaces hurdles are primarily technical – a method of tracking where and when white spaces are available for internet use is being put together, on a market by market basis. Databases are presently being built to coordinate the locations.
I’d recently reported on a new patent that was secured by Google, surrounding the ability to auction wireless network services. Perhaps the new patent pertains to the white spaces network, to where broadband signals would fluctuate in availability in regards to time and place.