Microsoft Blunder Dashes Wireless Hopes

Other tech firms dealt blow in quest for TV "white space" airwaves
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2008 3:08 PM CST
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin, left, accompanied by commissioner Michael J. Copps, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington in this Feb. 1, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Manuel...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Twice, the technology sector has looked to Microsoft to help convince the FCC to let it use dormant TV frequencies to deliver broadband Internet – and twice, Microsoft has failed. Last week, the FCC tested a Microsoft device designed to prove the broadband and TV signals could coexist, only to have it fail utterly, the Wall Street Journal reports, possibly killing the initiative.

It’s the second time a Microsoft device has failed, and it could mean the end of the industry’s hopes. Four other companies have submitted devices, and industry lobbyists are urging the FCC to try them, but TV lobbyists have earned a major victory. “By failing two out of two tests,” one lobbyist said, Microsoft had proven the devices “are not ready for prime time.”