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Google pushes the FCC for white space access, will offer free reference designs to others

Nilay Patel

The 700MHz auction is over, but that doesn't mean the days of high-stakes spectrum drama have come to a close -- just like we'd heard, Google today began a renewed push for white space internet. Backed by Microsoft, Philips, Dell, HP and others, white space transmissions are designed to fit in between TV signals on channels 2-51, but there's just one little problem -- the stuff doesn't really work yet. That's all about to change, according to Google: the company says it's done its own testing and will submit a proposal for an enhanced system to the FCC soon -- hmm, that could explain that secret test 700MHz network on the Google campus we've been hearing about, no? What's more, in an effort to open up the white space market and bring some competition to the broadband scene, Google says it's willing to provide free technical assistance and reference designs to other would-be white space providers wanting to get in on the action -- sort of like white space Android. Of course, all of this hinges on the FCC actually approving the tech, but if the 700MHz open-access drama showed us anything, it's that Google is pretty adept at playing the system to get what it wants from Uncle Sam.

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