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Google Proposes Universal Broadband Via Unused TV Spectrum

Google presented the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with a plan for using some of the TV spectrum for low-power mobile broadband access.The spectrum in question will be vacated in 2009, when TV broadcasts switch from analog to digital signals. Google is a member of a coalition of technology companies that have been urging the FCC to allow unlicensed use of the so called "white space" part of the spectrum; the coalition also includes Microsoft, Dell, Intel, HP, and Philips.

In Google's letter to the FCC, Rick Whitt, Google's Washington telecom and media counsel, wrote that use of the white space spectrum would offer a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access to all Americans."

Use of the white space spectrum is opposed by TV broadcasters among others for fear that devices using those frequencies would interfere with adjacent channels. Google claims that it has a system for preventing such interference, and that its system "will eliminate any remaining legitimate concerns about the merits of using the white space for unlicensed personal/portable devices." Google has tested its system and submitted its results to the FCC last December.Scientific American, Computerworld