FCC opens up white space spectrum


Google must be pretty happy this morning. Not only because its preferred candidate is now president-elect, but because the Federal Communications Commission green-lighted the opening of the so-called white space spectrum. In short, when television stations move to digital next year a whole swath of spectrum is freed up—what to do with it? If you’re Google (or Motorola or any number of other companies) this means you now have a whole new swath of spectrum for which to develop new technologies. Wi-Fi “on steroids” is one of the ideas being thrown around.

Who’s not happy with this? The traditional mobile carriers, for one.

The likes of Verizon Wireless and AT&T now have to deal with the threat of competition. What if Google were to use the spectrum to develop a technology that competes, or comes close enough to competing, with something like 3G? All of a sudden, being able to get broadband-ish signals from VZW or AT&T wherever you get a cellphone signal isn’t as unique.

This whole white space story will probably balloon into one of the bigger tech stories next year, so keep your eyes peeled.