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The FCC White Space Regulations: Pretty Good at First Look

My prediction is that LTE and WiMAX are toast. The new great thing will be WRANs (wireless regional area networks). WRAN's will extend and eventually subsume WiFi. The detailed regulations which implement the FCC decision to free the spectrum formerly known as TV white spaces have now been released. They look pretty good from the point of view of someone who believes the unlicensed use of this spectrum has the potential to make a huge difference in the way the world communicates. more

Mobile Trumps Fixed Broadband

"80% of Web users will choose mobile broadband over fixed by 2013" is the headline of a Total Telecom interview with John Cunliffe of Ericsson. I agree with the conclusion although I think Ericsson will be unpleasantly surprised to find that LTE is NOT the technology which leads to this revolution. Mobile access at speeds at least equal to what cable offers and at a price lower than today's cable broadband will be available both in the home and on the road within a year or two at the most. more

The Importance of the FCC

My friend Om Malik, dean of the telecom bloggers, posted on the importance of the Federal Communications Commission Chair appointment Obama will make as President... Om is dead on about the importance of this appointment. Decisions made by the five member FCC commission have had and will have an enormous effect not only on the tech sector but on the entire US and even the global economy. more

TV White Spaces Just the Beginning: Secondary Use of the Spectrum

Yesterday, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to allow qualified devices to operate on a license-exempt basis in unused portions of TV channels 2-51, spectrum commonly referred to as "TV white spaces." A lot has already been written about this move... But what is missing in these discussions is the bigger picture. more

FCC Approves White Space Devices: The Dawn of the Age of Opportunistic Spectrum Reuse

Yesterday will go down in history as a bellwether moment. Few among us will soon forget the excitement of Obama's election. But there was an equally historic vote yesterday that for geeks, policy analysts, and technologists represents an entirely new trajectory in telecommunications. In essence, the FCC has begun the transition from command-and-control, single-user spectrum licensure to a more distributed system that holds the potential to eliminate the artificial scarcity that prevented widespread access to the public airwaves since 1927. more

The Real White Spaces Debate: To Create or Abolish a Market in the Airwaves

I've been following the "white spaces" for as long as it has been happening -- four, maybe five years -- and I must admit that I am surprised by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's sudden fondness for them. Until the last days of his chairmanship, Martin never cared for this somewhat radical notion: allowing techies and community activists to spew electromagnetic frequencies in zones currently occupied (at least ostensibly) by the broadcasters. more

The Trouble with White Spaces

Like several other engineers, I'm disturbed by the white spaces debate because it focuses on what I regard as the wrong question. The White Space Coalition argues that showing that a system can be constructed that prevents interference between White Space Devices and television broadcast signals compels the Commission to offer up the White Spaces for unlicensed use. This is far from obvious. more

The Other Vote on November 4th

The vote that Federal Communications Commissioners are planning for November 4 is not as important as the voting we'll do on that day, but it does matter a lot to the future of the United States. Unless the forces opposed to progress manage to postpone FCC action (which they are trying very hard to do), the FCC could decide to set the stage for another generation of innovative products with which the US will strengthen its competitive position in global markets... more

White Spaces: Timing

Last week's emergency petition by the broadcasters to delay the FCC's Nov. 4 vote is just part of the white spaces atmosphere right now. Ars Technica reports that the mud is really flying -- the broadcasters are accusing proponents of white space use of wanting to kill off television. It's a familiar argument -- "If you do Y, broadcast television as we know it will be destroyed." more

White Spaces: The NAB vs. Reality

One of Washington's most powerful corporate lobbies is at it again. Raising a dust cloud of lies in a last-ditch effort to stop new technology that could better the lives of millions. For more than five years, now, the television broadcast lobby has tried to deny the American public access to white spaces -- unused airwaves that sit vacant between TV channels. Technology now exists that would tap the near limitless potential of these airwaves and deliver high-speed Internet services to tens of millions of people now left on the wrong side of the digital divide. more

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