January 4th, 2010 | Published in Google Public Policy
It's been a while since we've talked about what's happening with white spaces being freed up for wireless broadband, but today we took another step towards making "Wi-Fi on steroids" a reality for consumers. In a submission to the FCC, we're asking the Commission to designate Google as one of potentially several administrators of a white spaces geolocation database.
When the FCC voted to open the white spaces to unlicensed use in November 2008, it required that such a database be deployed before consumer electronics companies could start selling PCs, smartphones, e-book readers or other devices that used this spectrum. Before sending or receiving data, these devices will be required to connect to the database to determine what frequencies can and can't be used in a particular location. Licensed television and wireless microphone signals will be fully protected from harmful interference.
Why are we offering to do this? We continue to be big believers in the potential for this spectrum to revolutionize wireless broadband, and we think it's important for us to step forward and offer our assistance to make that vision a reality. Since launching the White Spaces Database Group last February, we've been working with other stakeholders to exchange ideas and perspectives on how to best operate a working database, and we believe we're in a strong position to build and successfully manage one.
We propose to build a database that is publicly accessible and searchable, so that any individual could access and review the data. You can read our full proposal here:
01-04-10 Google White Spaces Database Proposal
We anticipate that the Commission shortly will accept comments on the various database proposals, and will make its final decision sometime this spring.