Google already had its eyes on the white spaces left behind from broadcast TV before they went digital, so you can be certain that the search giant is celebrating, as the Federal Communications Commission officially ruled this morning on the technical rules related to the opened airwaves.
Calling it Wi-Fi ion steroids, Google is looking to white spaces for unlicensed development, prodding innovation and new products. Surely, others besides Google have high hopes for the airwaves as well, but Google’s been rather anxious, having already jumped the gun on testing several days ago.
In spreading its glee about the readily available white spaces, Google even went so far as to praise Chairman Genachowski on the FCC’s decisions therein, particularly rejecting some of the extra measures that opponents had wanted pushed through. Calling them “common-sense” rules, Google’s outwardly encouraging the onslaught of exploration that we can all expect.
What’s next on TV white spaces? We’re hopeful the FCC soon will name one or more administrators of the geolocation database, and establish the ground rules for its operation. Once the database is up and running, new white spaces devices and tools can begin to roll out to consumers.
Nonetheless, this important step should be viewed as the beginning, and not the end, of crafting forward-looking spectrum policy for our country. From creating a comprehensive spectrum inventory, to investigating incentive auctions for TV broadcast spectrum, to revisiting the efficacy of spectrum sensing technologies, these are exciting times for folks to get involved in developing more efficient and effective policies to govern our nation’s airwaves.
Seems like the timing couldn’t be better for Google, as it has a number of initiatives coming around television and gaming distribution, among other things. Monetizing those efforts is another story, but we won’t know how it ends for some time.