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FCC votes unanimously in favor of using whitespace for 'super WiFi'

Ross Miller
September 23, 2010
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Just as we suspected earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission has voted unanimously (that's five yeas and zero nays, if you need a specific tally) in favor of using the unlicensed whitespace airwaves for what it calls a "super WiFi" of sorts. The vote accordingly also mandates a database mapping out TV channels and major wireless mic users (e.g. broadway theaters and sports leagues), with at least two channels set aside for minor users of wireless mics. Google's Public Policy Blog wasted no time in praising the move, and more specifically the apparent rejection of "calls to enact burdensome and unnecessary constraints" that would discourage innovation. The company is accordingly now waiting on Chairman Julius Genachowski and friends to name administrators to the geolocation database and specify rules for its operation -- the last step, it believes, before products can reach consumers. So there you have it, the spare spectrum is all but good to go... ladies and gentleman, please don your thinking caps and get to work pronto.

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