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Google to provide wireless internet

Posted: 26 Mar 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:space spectrum 

After losing in the latest in the 700MHz auction, Google Inc. has started laid out plan to use TV "white space"—unlicensed and unused airwaves"—to provide wireless Internet, according to an Associated Press report.

In a letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission, Google urged the government to open up the white space for unlicensed use to enabling more widespread, affordable Internet access over the airwaves.

Google has already pointed out that the vast majority of viable spectrum in the United States goes unused or is grossly underutilised, Richard Whitt, Google's Washington telecom and media lawyer, wrote in the letter. He added that there is there is no benefit to allowing this spectrum to lie fallow unlike other natural resources.

The search engine giant said that the white space, located between channels 2 and 51 on TV sets that aren't hooked up to satellite or cable services, offer a chance to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access in the United States.

Whitt added that opening up the spectrum would allow much-needed competition to broadband service providers.

Broadcast interference
TV broadcasters, however, are expected to the oppose use of white space, fearing it would cause interference with TV programming and could even cause problems with the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting signals next year. Addressing the matter, Google pressed the FCC to adopt a series of overlapping technologies, including spectrum sensing, designed to prevent signals from interfering with each other.

According to Whitt, the company does not expect any changes to the status quo until after the shift from analogue broadcasting to digital TV in February 2009. Whitt said consumer devices compatible with white space spectrum could be out in the market as early as late 2009.

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