Google renews push for white space access


Internet search guide Google says it has devices which can operate in the margins between television stations without interfering with licensed spectrum users, and says it’s demonstrated two technologies for the benefit of US regulators. Broadcasters remain unconvinced that it’s time to open the spectrum up to all comers. Earlier tests have either come up short or have been withdrawn in advance.

Broadcasters contend that it will take very little interference to disrupt a broadcast digital signal, and the disruption will be more than mere static, but will make the broadcast signal completely unwatchable. And if the devices causing interference are unlicensed, there will be no possibility of tracking them down to bring such interference to an end.

TVBR observation: We will say once again that it is utterly irresponsible to consider such a potentially-disruptive regulatory spectrum land rush on the eve of the digital television transition, the most ambitious and risky such endeavor ever attempted. If all involved parties want to experiment with white spaces and potential unlicensed devices over the next two or three years, fine. All serious regulatory consideration should be tabled until digital television is up and running with no viewers left behind.