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Busted!

Microsoft offered up a clear-cut reason why a prototype that uses "white spaces" to deliver broadband services failed so miserably in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) technical tests: It was defective.

This is where I should insert some joke about why anyone should be surprised that something from Microsoft didn't work the way it was supposed to right out of the chute. Instead, I offer you a replay of this doozy.

The FCC tests determined that the device was not so good at sensing the presence of a digital signal and then moving to a vacant channel on a consistent basis. The tests also found the prototype can interfere with digital cable-ready (DCR) televisions that use a CableCARD, rather than a separate set-top, to pick up, authorize, and decrypt cable services. (See 'White Space' Worries .)

Microsoft said a broken "internal component" contributed to "the FCC's aberrant test results."

Microsoft also claimed it sent a working spare but the FCC did not test it.

The reports are out for comment until Aug. 27. Last we checked, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) was not ready to comment as it was still mulling the results and deciding whether to file something with the FCC.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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