White Space Devices Flop, Manufacturers Call Foul

After the FCC denied a license to a "white space" Internet device, so named because it uses the space between broadcast television channels to communicate, manufacturers shot back that the prototype tested was defective and that the FCC didn't bother testing a spare they had in their possession at the time. What makes white space devices so attractive is that they use the space between active television channels, a spectrum that's both widely plentiful and penetrates buildings well, two things that makes WiFi so unsuited to large-scale deployment. While Microsoft is the key cheerleader for this new gadget, Intel, Google, Dell and Phillips are also in on the coalition trying to win FCC approval.

Also in the way is the powerful National Association of Broadcasters. They've filed briefs with the FCC opposing the use of the unused channels claiming that the possibility of interference is just too high. In reality, it appears to be simply ensuring that members have exclusive access to the bands. Given the hot debate over the 700MHz band and the limited amount of bands left, you can bet these kinds of fights are going to become both common and high-profile.

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