White Spaces Coalition

White Spaces Coalition

The White Spaces Coalition consists of eight large technology companies that plan to deliver high speed broadband internet access to consumers via existing 'white space' in unused analog television frequencies. The coalition expects speeds of 10 Mbyte/s and above, and 50 to 100 Mbyte/s for white space short-range networking. [Eric Bangeman. [http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/hardware/white-space.ars/2 The White Spaces Coalition's plans for fast wireless broadband: The technology] ", "Ars Technica", 2007-4-17. Retrieved on June 12, 2007.] The group includes Microsoft, Google, Dell, HP, Intel, Philips, Earthlink, and Samsung Electro-Mechanics.

Senate decision

Analog television broadcasts, which operate between the 54 MHz and 698 MHz television frequencies, are slated to cease operating per a United States digital switchover mandate in February 2009. This is also the timetable that the white space coalition has set to begin offering wireless broadband services to consumers. The delay allows time for the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to test the technology and make sure that it does not interfere with existing television broadcasts. Similar technologies could be used worldwide as much of the core technology is already in place. [Eric Bangeman. [http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/hardware/white-space.ars/1 The White Spaces Coalition's plans for fast wireless broadband: Fast broadband without fiber... or even wires] ", "Ars Technica", 2007-4-17. Retrieved on June 12, 2007.]

It was thought in 2005 that the value of the entire U.S. analog television spectrum could reach more than $20 billion at government auction. [Grant Gross. [http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,123136-page,1/article.html Digital TV Date Pushed to 2009] ", "PC World", 2005-10-21. Retrieved on June 12, 2007.]

The White Spaces Coalition formed in late 2006Fact|date=July 2007, soon after the Senate set the date to cease analog broadcasts. It doesn't appear to have a website, but many of the companies involved in the White Spaces Coalition are also involved in the [http://www.wirelessinnovationalliance.com/index.cfm Wireless Innovation Alliance] .

TV broadcasters and other incumbent users of this spectrum (including makers of wireless audio systems) fear that their systems will no longer function properly if unlicensed devices are to operate in the same spectrum. Solutions at all major companies are currently pushing for deployment of their new products by Feb. 2009.

Early Developments

The Federal Communications Commission's Office of Engineering and Technology released a report dated July 31, 2007 with results from its investigation of two preliminary devices submitted. The report concluded that the devices did not reliably sense the presence of television transmissions or other incumbent users, hence are not acceptable for use in their current state and no further testing was deemed necessary. [ Initial Evaluation of thePerformance of Prototype TV Band White Space Devices [http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-275666A1.pdf] , 2007-7-31. Retrieved on August 2, 2007.] However, on August 13, 2007 Microsoft filed a document with the FCC in which it described a meeting that its engineers had with FCC engineers from the Office of Engineering and Technology on August 9 and 10. At this meeting the Microsoft engineers showed results from their testing done with identical prototype devices and using identical testing methods that "detected DTV signals at a threshold of -114 dBm in laboratory bench testing with 100 percent accuracy, performing exactly as expected." In the presence of FCC engineers, the Microsoft engineers took apart the device that the FCC had tested to find the cause of the poor performance. They found that "the scanner in the device had been damaged and operated at a severely degraded level" which explained the FCC unit's inability to detect when channels were occupied. It was also pointed out that the FCC was in possession of an identical backup prototype that was in perfect operating condition that they had not tested. [ Microsoft: FCC tested broken white spaces device, neglected backup unit [http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070814-microsoft-fcc-used-broken-white-spaces-device-for-test-neglected-backup-unit.html] , 2007-8-15. Retrieved on August 15, 2007.]

ee also

*United States 2008 wireless spectrum auction


External links

* [http://www.freepress.net/spectrum/=wsmaps White Spaces in U.S. Cities (Free Press)]
* [http://www.freepress.net/actionnetwork/node/59 "The Internet's New Frontier: White Spaces", Sept. 20, 2007]
* [http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071004-white-spaces-war-heats-up-at-fcc.html "White Spaces War Heats Up at FCC", October 4, 2007]
* [http://www.newamerica.net/files/WhiteSpaceDevicesBackgrounder.pdf The Feasibility of Unlicensed Broadband Devices... (New America Foundation)]
* [http://www.wirelessinnovationalliance.com/index.cfm Wireless Innovation Alliance]
* [http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/22/ IEEE 802.22 Working Group]
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/25/business/media/25google.html?ex=1364184000&en=b7a0a26af5adac85&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink "Google Plan Would Open TV Band for Wireless Use," New York Times, March 25, 2008]

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