Monday, October 27, 2008

White Spaces Battle - Latest From the Front

Here is a recap on the latest white spaces battle on whether the FCC will vote on November 4th to go ahead with a proposal to allow white spaces use and supported devices (think Android).

White spaces are unused channels in the spectrum that some tech companies hope to develop a national wireless broadband network.  Such a system would not have the same overlords we are traditionally familiar with:  cable and satellite companies and wireless providers.  In theory, it's a good thing.

On one side, Dell, Microsoft, Google, and a few other tech giants are trying to convince the FCC to move ahead.  The tech groups are not alone as they are joined by consumer groups in this effort.

On the other side, the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NASCAR joined forces with the major broadcasters in opposing a vote on November 4th.  They claim even the FCC's won tests showed the devices failed 50% of the time and require the use of geolocation in white spaces devices.  They requested more time.

The coalition against innovation, consumer choices, and competition (yeah, I am being blatantly biased here) are joined by Harrah's Entertainment, and 49 other broadcast associations.

On behalf of these cronies, they are joined by eight United States Representatives being lead by NY's Carolyn Maloney who I'm sure in an expert in all this.  She wants more hearings.  We've had four years of public hearings and testing.

Just as much as an expert like Maloney, is John Kerry playing for the tech side.

Sorry, folks.  I am being biased as I've mentioned at the top.  I sympathized with those guys who are against white spaces out of interference concerns.  I really do.  But to use that to keep consumers from better technology, choice, and, generally, trying to obtain a better standard of living so that they protect their bottom line is just un-American.

Broadcasters are the evil villains of the week.

Link:  NY Times

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