White Space Coalition argues case for spectrum-sensing

After the FCC rejected the White Space Coalition's prototype device -- which was touted as being able to sense spectrum to determine which frequencies are freely available in any given area -- Microsoft argued that the technology actually works, they just provided the FCC with a substandard unit. Friday, the Coalition -- which includes Google, Intel and Philips, as well as Microsoft -- filed a response to the FCC, arguing that a replacement device worked properly.

After the FCC rejected the White Space Coalition's prototype device -- which was touted as being able to sense spectrum to determine which frequencies are freely available in any given area -- Microsoft argued that the technology actually works, they just provided the FCC with a substandard unit.

Friday, the Coalition -- which includes Google, Intel and Philips, as well as Microsoft -- filed a response to the FCC, arguing that a replacement device worked properly. The proper question the FCC should tackle is not whether spectrum sensing should be allowed "but which specific rules should be in place to implement it," according to Ars Technica.

Broadcasters are against the concept because they're (extremely) worried about interference. Inteferences is measured in "meters rather than the many kilometers suggested by the opponents of personal/portable devices," the Coalition said the FCC study found. Further, "devices can successfully mitigate out-of-band emissions," says the group's letter to the FCC. Google stepped into the debate, as well. A post on the company's public policy blog concludes:

"The FCC's engineering analysis, released two weeks ago, confirms what we have stated all along: it is technologically feasible to provide Internet access through this segment of spectrum without interfering with either digital television signals or wireless microphones."

With the FCC's rejectcion of Google's open access proposals, instead adopting more limited rules offered by FCC Chair Kevin Martin, white space is especially important to high-tech.

White spaces devices would have access to the same prime frequencies available to television broadcasters, signals that travel easily through walls and propagate across vast distances, and spectrum-sensing devices could provide the sort of unlicensed ecosystem that helped lead to the WiFi boom.

Martin is still committed to the white space idea and will push the approval process forward, Ars asserts.