Big sport has come out against Google’s WiFi 2.0 plan by arguing that use of white space spectrum will cripple sporting events by interfering with wireless headphones.
The Sport Technology Alliance, representing the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the PGA Tour, and ESPN is calling on the FCC to require that technology companies wanting to sell wireless whitespaces devices to prove that their devices don’t interfere with wireless headphones (wireless headphones already operate in white spaces). Ken Kerschbaumer, executive director of the Sports Video Group made the following colorful argument:
We are deeply troubled by the crippling disruption and harm that portable devices will cause to live sports events. These devices could knock out wireless communications systems like headsets used by coaches and officials, microphones used by referees to announce penalties and calls, and microphones used by journalists to conduct interviews with athletes and coaches...Any interference caused by wireless white spaces devices would seriously impair US sports event programming, affecting hundreds of millions of sports fans – denying them full enjoyment of these events. Without a doubt, sports fans will be the real losers here if the FCC fails to protect wireless microphones.
The group specifically targeted Google’s proposal, arguing that it is flawed as the plan would place the burden on existing wireless microphone users, requiring them to purchase and install “beacons” which would jam white space device transmissions.