updated 01:10 pm EDT, Mon March 24, 2008
Google mobile broadband
Google has submitted a new proposal to the FCC to develop so-called white-space frequencies in the US, reports say. The frequencies lie in the spectrum between channels 2 and 51 in the television range, but are used by neither satellite nor cable providers; Google, one of the members of the White Spaces Coalition, is proposing that the FCC authorize the use of the space for a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access to all Americans," according to a letter by company lawyer Richard Whitt.
"Google also would be willing to provide, at no cost to third parties, the technical support necessary to make these plans happen," Whitt continues. "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."
White space development is opposed by a number of TV broadcasters, who are worried that it will interfere with their signals - particularly during the transition from analog to digital over-the-air broadcasting, which is scheduled to complete in February of next year. There may be some validity in the concern, as while Google and Philips are both said to have produced successful tests in recent months, the FCC's earlier first round of evaluations failed produce anything viable. [via The Wall Street Journal]