USA: FCC approves ‘white space’ for broadband

Posted on November 6, 2008  /  2 Comments

The Federal Communications Commission, as expected, approved a measure that would make “white space” spectrum available for wireless broadband.

White space is industry lingo for the unused airwaves that abut broadcast TV spectrum, providing a buffer zone from stray signals and other inferference. The buffer zone was set up more than 50 years ago when TV was first invented.

The FCC’s white-space plan was initially proposed four years ago. More than 25,000 comments — from supporters as well as critics — were submitted.

Under the FCC’s plan, white space spectrum will be unlicensed and free — like Wi-Fi — to anybody who wants to use it. In some markets, there’s enough white space to fill a half dozen TV channels

Read the full story in USA Today here.


  1. What makes the “white spaces” spectrum interesting is not just that it is unlicensed but that it is unlicensed spectrum in a very desirable spectrum range. The propagation characteristics of the 600-700Mhz spectrum range substantially better than that for WiFi (2.4GHz and 5GHz). This means that there is real potential to create comprehensive meshed broadband networks using this technology. Every country (let alone developing country) on the planet should be actively lobbying for access to this spectrum in anticipation of “white spaces” devices coming to market in 18 months time.

  2. Before anyone points it out to me, I know this comment is offtopic…

    There are rumours that SLT will soon start offering faster ADSL connections. I heard that they are going to offer 1Mbps connections for the price of 512kbps ones.

    Does anyone know if these rumours are true?