Broadband spectrum is a scarce and finite commodity and with the proliferation of smartphones and wireless networks, private-sector and government entities are looking high and low for any available space to accommodate the lifeblood of international commerce and communications.
As Datamation reports, senators from both sides of the aisle are pressuring the FCC to stop talking about what should and could be done with the unused, so-called white spaces of unused spectrum remaining and start enacting policy to make it actually happen.
In its national broadband plan, the FCC set the goal of wrapping up the white-spaces proceeding, but that recommendation was just one of 360, including several other spectrum-related actions.
White spaces have slid off the FCC’s public agenda of late, as the agency has found itself in the center of a political firestorm over its plan to tighten its regulatory authority over the broadband-access sector.
The divided commission is expected to approve a notice of inquiry to begin that process at its monthly meeting on Thursday by a three-to-two vote.
A pair of senators is urging the Federal Communications Commission to wrap up its proceeding to open unused wireless spectrum that sits between TV channels for unlicensed broadband networks.
In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) requested that the commission set the final rules for the so-called “white spaces” spectrum in the third quarter, bringing closure to a proceeding that’s been on the table for more than half a decade.
The FCC approved an order to open the white-spaces spectrum in November 2008 over strenuous opposition from broadcasters and others who warned that the new networks would interfere with signals in adjacent bands.