Dolly Gives Google Static in Airwaves Feud

FCC to decide today who gets rights to 'white spaces'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2008 7:17 AM CST
Dolly Parton performs during her concert in Ijsselhallen in Zwolle, north eastern Netherlands, last year as part of her European tour.    (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
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(Newser) – Singer Dolly Parton has added her powerful country-music lungs to a battle against Google over an unused chunk of radio spectrum that will be settled by an FCC vote today, the New York Times reports. Tech companies have been pushing for the spectrum to be opened up for public use, while many from the world of old media—including Broadway, TV networks, rock bands, and Parton—argue that such a move could interfere with live broadcasts.

Google and other tech giants say freeing up the white-spaces could spawn a whole new generation of WiFi devices. Performers argue that it would make wireless microphones unusable by creating static, hurting the entertainment industry. Most analysts expect the FCC to vote unanimously in favor of opening up the spectrum, despite a recent surge in big-name opposition.