Gates to FCC: Give Us More WiFi Spectrum

Urges regulators to approve Internet use of TV "white space"
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Mar 14, 2008 11:07 AM CDT
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 12, 2008, before the House Science and Technology Committee hearing on competitiveness and innovation.   (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
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(Newser) – A month after Microsoft failed its second opportunity to convince the FCC that companies could deliver broadband Internet via unused TV frequencies without interfering with programming, Bill Gates pushed regulators Thursday to approve the plan, Reuters reports. He said “white space” between channels could allow WiFi to “explode” into less densely populated areas of the US.

The FCC has tested two Microsoft devices aimed at detecting, but not interfering with, television signals—and both have failed. The TV industry wants regulators to nix the project, but the FCC is going forward with tests of prototypes by other makers. Microsoft’s research chief called TV white space the industry’s “last hope to get some good spectrum.”