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White Spaces

FCC Preps White Spaces Tests

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has picked March 11 to launch a 45-day test of a "white spaces" database operated by Key Bridge Global LLC. The trial will test the capabilities of a system designed to identify channels that are available for use by unlicensed radio-transmitting devices that operate in the TV band. The ultimate aim is to help avoid potential interference with wireless microphones and digital cable TV services. White spaces refer to vacant airwaves between TV channels that can be used for wireless broadband services. (See FCC Opens Up TV White Spaces and Cable Worries About 'White Space' Tech.)
  • Google, a big champion of white spaces, and has begun to test its own database and will join the FCC's 45-day test, CNET reports.
  • Redbox Instant by Verizon, the video streaming/DVD venture from Verizon Communications Inc. and Redbox Automated Retail LLC, will "at best break even" this year, and turn a profit in 2014, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo predicted at a Deutsche Bank AG conference in Florida. The subscription service, currently in beta form and viewed as a competitor to Netflix Inc., is expected to launch nationally in the second quarter of 2013. (See Verizon/Redbox Take a Swing at Netflix.)
  • The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) has set a deadline of April 12 for white paper proposals tagged for this year's Cable-Tec Expo, set for Oct. 21-24 in Atlanta. Suggested subtopics include network evolution (architecture, wireless, security, energy efficiency); service evolution (video, IPv6, advanced home networks, user interfaces); and business evolution (customer care/billing, business services, and big data). The SCTE program committee expects to announce selected abstracts by June 7.
  • Elemental Technologies Inc. says it is providing the video processing powering The Weather Channel's multi-screen video platform, including its YouTube channel. (See Elemental Eases Into Comcast OTT Role.) — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable
  • Jeff Baumgartner 3/5/2013 | 6:37:58 PM
    re: FCC Preps White Spaces Tests A small but important step in the whole white spaces process. It will provide an interesting angle for Google. Sure, it's got the Google Fiber project going on in the KCs, but this could give them a much broader access play, albeit in the unlicensed world . JB
    joanengebretson 3/6/2013 | 3:52:29 PM
    re: FCC Preps White Spaces Tests In pursuing the white spaces database opportunity, I think Google is looking beyond TV white spaces. There's talk of using the same database technology to enable spectrum sharing in other bands as well.
    DanJones 3/6/2013 | 5:08:40 PM
    re: FCC Preps White Spaces Tests -áMakes sense, I'm not sure how appealing the revenue opportunity in delivering compatible equipment for TV White Spaces low-cost rural networks actually is for vendors beyond maybe ZTE and Huawei.
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