Last night, Google announced that it filed a submission to the FCC, asking it to designate Google as one of potentially several administrators of a "white spaces" geolocation database. Back in November of 2008, the FCC approved the use of these White Spaces, or unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels, for public wireless broadband service.
On Google's Public Policy Blog, Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, writes:
When the FCC voted to open the white spaces to unlicensed use in November 2008, it required that such a database be deployed before consumer electronics companies could start selling PCs, smartphones, e-book readers or other devices that used this spectrum. Before sending or receiving data, these devices will be required to connect to the database to determine what frequencies can and can't be used in a particular location. Licensed television and wireless microphone signals will be fully protected from harmful interference.
Why are we offering to do this? We continue to be big believers in the potential for this spectrum to revolutionize wireless broadband, and we think it's important for us to step forward and offer our assistance to make that vision a reality. Since launching the White Spaces Database Group last February, we've been working with other stakeholders to exchange ideas and perspectives on how to best operate a working database, and we believe we're in a strong position to build and successfully manage one.
Google proposes to build a database to be publicly accessible and searchable, so anyone could access and review the data. The proposal has been provided in full:
|01-04-10 Google White Spaces Database Proposal|
Google says it anticipates that the FCC will accept comments on various database proposals, and expects the Commission to make a final destination sometime in the spring.