The FCC on Tuesday approved the use of the so-called "white spaces" betweentelevision channels for wireless Internet access, thereby setting in motionthe creation of a nationwide broadband service that will eventually beavailable to users without charge any place where television signals can bereceived. The system is expected to be slower than cable or DSL butcomparable to the speed of cellular systems. Receivers are expected to bebuilt into laptop computers and other mobile devices by next year.Broadcasters, however, have warned that the broadband service could causeinterference with their signals and accused the FCC of threateningtelevision transmission to satisfy the demands of Google and Microsoft, theprincipal backers of the wireless technology. Dennis Wharton, executive vicepresident of the National Association of Broadcasters said, "Every Americanwho values interference-free TV should be concerned by today's commissionvote. But on his blog, Google co-founder Larry Page praised the FCC action,saying, "For years the broadcasting lobby and others have tried to spreadfear and confusion about this technology, rather than allow the FCC'sengineers to simply do their work."

05/11/2008