GCN is reporting that members of the Wireless Innovation Alliance were on Capitol Hill pushing a plan to open up underused slices of the broadcast spectrum known as white space for broadband Internet access.
But, the problem is that the white space is used by a variety of low-power devices such as wireless microphones. For example, they are used by drivers at Watkins Glen International. And, current users of white space believe that opening the space up to high-speed internet access would squeeze them out.
The alliance said that opening up the spectrum would bring economical broadband access to areas currently underserved by internet service providers.
If devices that provided internet service on the white space were able to detect users and move to other channels to avoid interference, there wouldn’t be a problem. But prototypes tested by the Federal Communciations Commission were not able to do that. Still, that capability appears to be feasible.
But, in order to for opponents to consider sharing the spectrum, the capability would have to be effective, not just feasible.
Reps. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a statement:
That’s why a real diversity of groups including…NASCAR…have all come together to ask the FCC not to pull the plug on wireless microphone users everywhere.