FCC Gives 'White Spaces' to Wireless

Decision to open spectrum a big victory for Google, tech giants
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2008 4:00 AM CST
Technology companies say the decision to free up unused parts of the radio spectrum will lead to a wave of innovative new WiFi devices.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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(Newser) – The FCC has voted to open up an unused chunk of TV airwaves for the delivery of wireless broadband services, Bloomberg reports. The ruling is a huge victory for Google and other technology giants, who backed the measure against fierce opposition from broadcasters. The tech firms say the plan will expand broadband access across America and spawn a wave of innovative new devices.

"The FCC decided to put science over politics," said Google co-founder Larry Page, who promised the decision would create "WiFi on steroids." Broadcasters and entertainers who use wireless microphones have argued that devices using the “white spaces” will create interference, but the FCC has ruled that the new gadgets must be fitted with anti-interference technology.