updated 03:00 pm EST, Thu December 22, 2011
FCC names KOS first white space device, more
The FCC has now publicly approved Spectrum Bridge Inc's White Space databse, a document it posted reveals. The Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) will allow service to wireless devices starting on January 26. The first device approved to operate on an unlicensed basis on unused frequencies in the TV bands is from Koos Technical Services (KTS).
White space is unused old TV spectrum that will now be used for an equivalent to Wi-Fi. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski claimed in confirming the launch that this will increase private investment and create jobs. In the past, unlicensed radio frequencies were used for Wi-Fi and digital cordless phones as well as in-home video distribution systems.
Unlicensed TV band device makers need to refer to an authorized database system in their areas to see what channels they can operate on under the FCC rules. The hardware will periodically check against the database and actively change frequencies to avoid interference if a concert or another event needs spectrum that's too close.
The new spectrum allows greater range than Wi-Fi devices and operates on higher frequencies. It's initially relegated to Wilmington, North Carolina and the surrounding area, but expected to grow as the database does.