Dolly doesn't want to share white space

Dolly Parton joins the chorus of entertainment type fighting against white spaces, even though research shows Internet devices would not interfere with wireless mics. Does the entertainment business's opposition have to do with something other than tech concerns? Perhaps there's a reason TV and music don't want there to be widespread, ubiquitous Internet?

Now that Dolly Parton has thrown into the white spaces debate, it is unfortunately full-blown silly season for a crucial telecom issue. In a letter to FCC commissioners, Dolly wrote:
As someone who uses the white spaces and knows the value of them for the work that I and many of my friends do around the country, I ask the FCC to recognize the entertainment industry’s valuable contribution to the cultural life. I can unequivocally confirm that the importance of clear, consistent wireless microphone broadcasts simply cannot be overstated. This industry relies on wireless technology and is in jeopardy of being irreversibly devastated by the commission’s pending decision.

But the argument is completely specious, the Wireless Innovation Alliance's Jake Ward says. In an email, he explained:

Wireless microphones are white space devices. They receive and broadcast on vacant broadcast spectrum, often illegally and in violation of part 74 rules. That said, WIA and its partners have no interest or intention of disrupting their business. The FCC has found that the two technologies can absolutely coexist with minimal precautions and we are confident in their findings.

Meanwhile Bill Gates and Microsoft's Craig Mundie have taken to lobbying in favor of white spaces.

"The testing has been extensive," Mundie said on a conference call. "No one has any basis for claiming that they don't know what was tested or how it was tested."

Also Monday, a half dozen Representatives wrote to FCC chairman Kevin Martin to praise the timing of a vote next Tuesday.

This proceeding has been underway for over four years. There have been hundreds of comments filed and the Commission has been testing devices since last year. The opposition has raised concerns which have been addressed time and time again in the comment process.

...Given the importance of broadband access, the length of this proceeding, and the fact that there has been ample opportunity to submit comments, we respectfully ask the Commission to hold to its schedule and adopt final rules at its November meeting.

Show Comments