Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tech companies win FCC battle for "White spaces"

It turns out that even things we can't see or hear also need to be licensed.  Or at least they did.  Several large technology companies including Google and Microsoft have recently won the ote of the FCC in the matter of white spaces.

White spaces are the areas of bandwidth that will be freed up for used once digital technologies replace the use of the previous method (bunny ears on top of the tv set).  While the tech companies wanted these spaces to be free for the picking several communications companies including T-mobile and Sprint objected under the excuse that the use of these spaces will interfere with their products.   The FCC ruled that while these spaces will be free, it will require rigorous testing on digital technologies to ensure minimum interference.

This situation is interesting, because while most rights and licensing conflicts involve a giant versus the little guy, such as the RIAA vs. most of its defendants, this conflict is between two groups of giants.  It is not a case of a up and coming technology threatening the established way.  It appears as if the communications companies have a legitimate fear of an already developed technology causing an unfair obstruction to another established technology. Thoughts?

1 comment:

Patrick T said...

I think free nation-wide internet is the way to go! and the government approved it too, according to this article: http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/2008/11/04/a-landslide-win-for-white-spaces/

it would be really nice to be able to link up anywhere you are.