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FCC Takes a Mulligan

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's Office of Engineering and Technology will conduct some additional tests on some low power "White Space" device prototypes that aim to deliver broadband services using vacant spectrum. (See FCC Retests 'White Space' Gear.)

The concept could come into play after the FCC auctions off 700 MHz spectrum and TV broadcasters transition to digital in February 2009. (See FCC Straddles Open Access Issue and Spectrum Auction: It's a Date .)

Those devices failed miserably during the first round of tests, which found that they -- the prototypes, at least -- can interfere with Digital Cable Ready (DCR) televisions, and weren't so good at sensing the presence of a digital signal on a consistent basis. (See 'White Space' Worries .)

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), a member of the White Spaces Coalition, later claimed the FCC labs tested a defective device. (See Busted! )

As for the new round of tests, the FCC would only say that those results will be made public "at a later date."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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