Important vote tomorrow

Posted on Monday 3 November 2008

As I’m sure you all know, there’s a very important vote coming up tomorrow.  The FCC is moving ahead with a full vote on the unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels.    Friend Rick Whitt, now Google’s Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, has a nice post from last week that summarizes the white space issue.  Om wrote about white space here, David Isenberg is in favor of white space broadband but says it doesn’t go far enough.

This gist is that with the move to HD broadcast, the gaps between TV signals can be re-purposed to wireless broadband.   The frequency spectrum is ideal, and can propagate long distances and penetrate buildings.  Engineering tests conducted by the FCC have shown that this is viable, and that it doesn’t interfere with the broadcast signals.

Rick writes:

The enormous promise of white spaces is simply too great to get bogged down now in politics. We’re less than two weeks away from a vote that could transform the way we connect to the Internet

There was an last digit effort by assorted anti-internet lobbyists to delay the effort, but that appears to have failed and the vote will go forward tomorrow.   Keep your fingers crossed, an important future freedom is at stake.  You can help by signing the Free The Airwaves petition.  I did.

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