Have you ever watched a preschool kid carry a goldfish in a bowl? It’s not quite like watching a slow train wreck – but you know it’s not going to be good. Maybe it won’t be good for the goldfish, maybe it won’t be good for the kid, or maybe you’ll end up picking up the pieces and you wonder why you let it go on so long.
I’m starting to feel that way about the white spaces issue at the FCC. (I want to thank Christopher Mitchell for calling me today to remind me about it.) There is a sense of urgency as the FCC is going to endorse use of white space on November 4, 2008. (Since nothing else is going on that day!)
There’s been a lot of flip flopping about the use of the white spaces. The Digital Expansion Initiative posted a good video that explains how white spaces can be used. It definitely leans in one direction – but it’s so simple that I think my preschooler (who I don’t trust with fish) might understand the explanation.
The big hubbub is whether white spaces should be opened up to a wider broadcasting audience (such as wifi devices). The folks who promote wider use say yes. The traditional broadcasters say no. The FCC is about to say yes. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have been saying no – loudly and clearly, especially to members of Congress – including Senator Amy Klobuchar.
So there’s been a counter push to contact the Senators to let them know what you think. So if you are so inclined – now is a good time to contact your Senator.
To go back to my original analogy – white space has been an issue that I have been trying to ignore, not actively ignore but ignore as I might ignore a preschooler who is heading for a minor collision yet is entertained for the time being. The problem is that something is going to happen soon.