updated 12:35 pm EDT, Tue August 7, 2007
'White space' devices fail
The White Spaces Coalition, a group formed by corporations such as Google, Philips and Microsoft, has suffered a setback in tests administered by the Federal Communications Commission, says InfoWorld. The Coalition was invited last year to build prototype devices that would broadcast in its namesake "white spaces," the bands of the TV spectrum that are unused by broadcasters.
The difficulty is that these bands vary from city to city, and the Coalition took the approach of building devices that would scan before broadcasting on their chosen frequency. The FCC notes that when evaluated, the prototypes often failed to detect existing broadcasts, and would interfere with them by transmitting regardless.
The eventual goal of the Coalition is to deliver broadband Internet via white space, since it could theoretically deliver data at speeds between 50 and 100Mbps. The group's plans hinge on the abandonment of analog TV however, an event currently slated for February 2009. Google's participation may be especially noteworthy, as while the company is no longer likely to bid for the 700MHz frequency, the 54-698MHz TV range could prove useful for hardware such as a rumored phone.