Microsoft, Google, and others pushing for Internet over TV airwaves

Sharp-eyed readers will no doubt remember this image from a certain FCC filing from Microsoft, which some had speculated to be evidence of a forthcoming Zune phone. That possibility seemed to be unlikely at best at the time, and it looks like the filing was indeed for something else entirely, with The Washington Post now clearing up the confusion. Turns out, the filing in question is for a device that allows for the Internet to be delivered over TV airwaves, and is part of a larger push by a coalition of tech companies lobbying the FCC to allow the technology to be implemented. In addition to Microsoft, the group includes Google, Dell, HP, Intel, and Philips, who say the devices could be rolled out as soon as early 2009 if they're given the go ahead. Of course, there hasn't been much revealed in the way of speeds or other technical details, or how much it may eventually cost, but the FCC does at least seem to be open to the idea, with one commissioner saying the devices have "the potential to take the success of the WiFi phenomenon to another level." The FCC's main concern, it seems, is whether these new Internet "channels" would bleed over and interfere with existing broadcasts, although it's not clear when it'll come to a decision on the technology, only that it will undergo "months of testing."

[Via Slashdot]