Law in the Internet Society
-- StephanieLim - 22 Oct 2008 just an outline, obviously...would welcome comments and suggestions

Introduction: Background

Historical context of WhiteSpaces in broadcasting

The term WhiteSpaces refers to the portions of the radio spectrum left deliberately unused to act as a buffer between licensed channels by reducing the chance for interference. Historically, unlicensed (illegal) use of WhiteSpaces--most notably by churches, the performing arts, and pirate radio--has been overlooked by the FCC.

Current Situation

WhiteSpaces debate in present context, mobile devices

October 12, 2006 authorizes low-power wireless devices temporary use of the white spaces, as broadcasters abandon the spectrum in the anticipated switch to digital television February 18, 2009. This election day, the FCC will decide whether to allow WhiteSpaces to remain unregulated, or whether to auction and license these portions of the radio spectrum.

Proponents and Opponents Proponents of flexible WhiteSpaces use include corporate interests (such as Microsoft and Motorola) that have backed unregulated WhiteSpaces in the name of innovations in wireless technology and mobile computing. Consumer advocacy groups maintain that opening up WhiteSpaces could aid in closing the digital divide.

Opponents to deregulating the white spaces have called for delays until major device manufacturers can provide "proof of concept" that devices operating in white spaces would not interfere with licensed airwaves. In October 2008 the FCC decided that the burden of proof had been met. Non-technologists have jumped on the imperfect results, citing risks in emergency response, public safety, privacy, and licensed, commercial uses. The climate of innovation will not thrive, however, under pending regulation.


Lack of expertise in policy arena could lead to stifling of innovation...

This isn't a suggestion for historical research but understanding NYCWireless, in the present day might yield some interesting info

-- TomGlaisyer - 26 Oct 2008



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r5 - 03 Nov 2008 - 20:49:06 - StephanieLim
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