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I'm placing this info here because the CRTC may be considering these changes. MOD: feel free to place it elsewhere.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken new steps to open up the “white space” wireless spectrum, a move that could lead to the development of next-generation Wi-Fi.
The FCC has given nine companies permission to manage and administrate the white space wireless spectrum, an unused spectrum used previously as a buffer between TV channels. With the transition to digital TV, buffer space has become unnecessary.

“While the operation of multiple database administrators may present some coordination challenges, we find it is in the public interest to have multiple parties developing business models for this new mechanism,” the FCC said in its order. “The value of this exercise extends beyond databases for the TV bands, as the Commission is also considering employing similar database approaches in other spectrum bands.”

Companies like Google hope to turn the white space spectrum into a form of “super Wi-Fi.” White space spectrum has a longer wavelength, further reach and better penetration than traditional Wi-Fi signals.

In its order, the FCC gave permission to Google, Comsearch, Frequency Finder, KB Enterprises, LS Telecom, Key Bridge, Neustar, Spectrum Bridge, Telcordia Technology and WSdb to access, build and manage databases of white spectrum. It’s the first step towards offering the spectrum publicly.

“Just last fall the Commission adopted final technical rules on white spaces – the unused, public airwaves that we believe will lead to the next generation of wireless technologies,” Google said in a response to the FCC’s announcement. “Before inventors can start to introduce new products and services on these airwaves, the FCC must certify the white spaces databases, which will ensure that different wireless signals don’t interfere with each other.”

However, Google’s appointment as a caretaker of the white space databases did not occur without protest. Key Bridge Global, the Coalition of Wireless Microphone Users, the National Association of Broadcasters and others filed critical comments, doubting Google’s ability to be impartial.

The possibilities of white space Wi-Fi have yet to be fully realized, but many, including Google, believe that it could be turned into a nationwide Wi-Fi network. Devices could be built to be compatible with the unused spectrum to send and receive Internet data.

More About: FFC, Google, Neustar, super wi-fi, White Space, wi-fi
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