Seeking to jumpstart investment in new and innovative technologies, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken steps to free up vacant airwaves between television channels.
The vacant spectrum available between television channels (also referred to as “white spaces”) is reportedly ideal for mobile wireless services as well as newer communications applications, including devices using “super Wi-Fi” technology.
In a Second Memorandum Opinion and Order issued in September, the Commission moved to eliminate rules requiring TV bands devices to include sensing technology to detect signals of TV stations and low-power auxiliary service stations, such as wireless microphones. In addition, the FCC has reserved two vacant UFH channels for wireless microphones and other low power auxiliary devices to protect incumbent services from interference potentially created by the use of the spectrum white space.
Freeing up unlicensed spectrum is a key component of the Commission’s National Broadband Plan announced earlier this year. According to the FCC, the white space affected by its actions represents the first significant block of spectrum made available for unlicensed use in more than 20 years, and its release should fuel new investments in innovative communications technologies.