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Tech firms push delivery of Web service over 'white space'

Posted: 20 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intenet? TV? broadband connection? white space? Microsoft?

Six technology companies are pushing for the delivery of high-speed Internet service in a new way!over unused TV airwaves.

According to reports from the The Associated Press, the proponents of the technology!Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp. and Philips Electronics North America Corp.!have submitted a prototype device to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for testing. The companies underscored that they aim to use this new technology to bring accessible and affordable broadband connection in the United States.

Succinctly, the technology companies want to beam Internet access through unused and unlicensed TV airwaves, part of the 'white spaces' spectrum, and into PCs and mobile devices. They claim that this will bring Internet service to remote regions in the U.S. at a fraction of the cost of cable- and telephone-based subscription services.

Aside from low-cost broadband access, proponents say the new technology can also spur innovation.

Advocates said the white-space spectrum is too valuable to be left idle!TV airwaves can transmit better signal quality through obstacles and to a wider geographic area. They also eye the potential of the technology as an attractive alternative to phone-, cable- or satellite-based Internet service in rural areas because it does not require new infrastructure to be built.

Mixed reactions
TV broadcasters though fear that devices arising from the technology can interfere with TV service. Some technology experts also have reservations on how well the device will actually perform. Matters will be more complicated, broadcasters say, when the industry switches from analog to digital signals in 2009.

The broadcasters want the FCC to proceed cautiously with the matter. According to the AP report, the National Association of Broadcasters said they are not against the new technology!only worried about unintended consequences such as compromising the delivery of clear TV pictures.

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