Google is pushing the FCC for approval of white spaces -- the unused part of the television spectrum -- to provide wireless Internet across the U.S. Richard Whitt, the company's telecom and media lawyer, authored an ex part filing with the FCC arguing:
As Google has pointed out previously, the vast majority of viable spectrum in this country simply goes unused, or else is grossly underutilized. Unlike other natural resources, there is no benefit to allowing this spectrum to lie fallow. [White spaces offer a] "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access to all Americans." [Opening up the spectrum would] "enable much-needed competition to the incumbent broadband service providers."(Above graphic shows available channels as of Jan. 2007) According to the Wall Street Journal, Google will volunteer the resources to make white spaces technology a reality.
"Google also would be willing to provide, at no cost to third parties, the technical support necessary to make these plans happen," Mr. Whitt wrote. "This could include intellectual property and reference designs for underlying technologies, open geo-databases maintained by Google, and other supporting infrastructure. Of course we welcome others as well with an interest in helping to provide such support." However, in the letter, Google said it sees several potential stumbling blocks ahead. "Technological innovation, and the significant changes it brings, can be a scary prospect for some," Mr. Whitt wrote. "But it should not be the government's role to protect the status quo, especially by blocking access to the new." Those others would be broadcasters, the NFL and wireless audio companies. Ars Technica relates that broadcasters have seized on a few technical difficulties (like Microsoft shipping a broken prototype device to the FCC). The NFL thinks white space Internet will interfere with refs' wireless microphones. Audio manufacturer Shure says wireless mic systems would be at "severe risk of disruption." So much FUD, says Google.The future is now. The value of the TV white space to all Americans simply is too great to allow this unique opportunity to be blocked by unfounded fear, uncertainty, and doubt.