February 4th, 2009 | Published in Google Public Policy
Since November's big vote at the FCC, some have begun asking when we'll start seeing consumer mobile devices take advantage of TV white spaces spectrum.
As the Commission made clear in its ruling, a working white spaces database must be deployed in order for consumer devices to be available in the market. Before sending or receiving data, devices will be required to access this database to determine available channels in the vicinity. Combined with spectrum sensing technologies, use of a geo-location database will offer complete protection to licensed signals from harmful interference.
With this mandate in mind, this morning we joined Comsearch, Dell, HP, Microsoft, Motorola, and Neustar to launch the White Spaces Database Group.
In the coming weeks and months, members of the group will be offering to the Commission their perspectives, and some specific recommendations, about the technical requirements we would like to see adopted for the database. Many of these specifications ultimately will be heavily technical; put simply, we'll advocate for data formats and protocols that are open and non-proprietary, with database administration that is also open and non-exclusive.
We don't plan to become a database administrator ourselves, but do want to work with the FCC to make sure that a white spaces database gets up and running. We hope that this will unfold in a matter of months, not years.
Stay tuned to this blog for further updates on the group's work.