Delayed DTV impact on White Spaces

Today was the day that we were suppose to transition to DTV – but that transition has been delayed until June. I hope that gives people time to prepare. I know there are some good people on that mission.

I have been wondering how the delay will impact the use of White Spaces. To refresh your memory, the FCC decided last fall to open up the unlicensed use of the “white spaces” between digital television signals. One possible use is broadband, especially broadband in rural areas.

Well, the delay doesn’t seem to be slowing down the folks who hope to use those spaces. In fairness, I hadn’t heard many big plans for rapid use of the space and I haven’t heard any big complaints since the postponement.

I have heard that some of the bigwigs are collaborating on a tool to move the whole process forward – a database to oversee the use of white space spectrum per the FCC requirements. Specifically, the FCC requires white space devices to have sensing technology linked to a geolocation database, allowing the device to detect and avoid broadcast signals. (remember that’s what all of the testing was about last summer.)

The founding members of the White Spaces Database Group include Comsearch, Dell, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Motorola and NeuStar.

So it looks as if the windfall of time for White Spaces will be well used. Hopefully come June 12 – people will be ready to watch DTV and companies will be ready to broadband via White Spaces.