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FCC Opens New Airwaves to the Public [businessweek.com]
Regulators, siding with techs like Google and Microsoft, rule that "white space" freed up by digital TV is best used for high-speed wireless hot spots.
Let's keep in mind that this comes at just the time when regular broadband providers (like AT&T) have announded that they're about to place limits on monthly download bandwidth.
The new airwaves, known as white spaces, could be used to create wireless hot spots akin to those created by Wi-Fi technology that let users communicate wirelessly within homes and throughout neighborhoods. But unlike Wi-Fi zones, these airwaves will enable faster downloads of large data files, such as video clips and feature-length films, over larger distances and at a lower cost. In a blog, Google co-founder Larry Page compared the technology to "Wi-Fi on steroids," adding: "I've always thought that there are a lot of really incredible things that engineers and entrepreneurs can do with this spectrum."
This also comes at a time when there's about to be a major national administrative change (Presidential, including FCC leadership), and there have been heavily biased lobbying interests at work.
The FCC has been looking at this issue carefully for the last six years. Google has worked hard on this matter with other tech companies and public interest groups because we think that this spectrum will help put better and faster Internet connections in the hands of the public. We also look forward to working with the FCC to finalize the method used to compute power levels of empty channels adjacent to TV channels (we have a number of public filings before the commission in this area and it is a vital issue in urban areas).
Google Co-Founder Larry Page Giddy For White Spaces [informationweek.com]
During a keynote session with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Page repeatedly said he is optimistic about the future of devices and services that use these white spaces for cheap wireless broadband. He expects the majority of computers and cell phones to have white spaces capability within the next few years...
..."We make most of our money on advertising on search, and there are a lot of times I can't easily do a Web search even with 3G or open Wi-Fi networks," Page said. "If people can get easily connected anywhere [with white spaces], we can make 20% to 30% more money."
Cheaper Internet [reuters.com]
High-speed wireless Internet will be cheaper and more available across the United States in the near future, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and a Google co-founder said on Thursday.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and Larry Page, president, products for Google said a decision on Tuesday by the U.S. agency to open unused television spectrum known as "white space" along with better radios, can help improve Internet access in urban and rural areas.
Radio is at the heart of Wi-Fi, wireless mobile phones, and Blackberry's.
They said the first developments will show up in less than two years, and reach the public later.