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The Battle Rages Over 'White Space'

The 700 MHz spectrum auctions have concluded, but another battle is raging in Washington over the "white space spectrum" -- the unused analog television frequencies -- which will affect the future of wireless Internet in the U.S.

Technology companies, which are lobbying the FCC and Congress, say using the white space for wireless broadband could unleash a wave of innovation. Unfortunately, their campaign typifies inside-the-Beltway spin. Although lobbyists frame many of their arguments in terms of “innovation” and what’s best for “The People,” the bottom line is, simply, the bottom line.

Huge corporations are jockeying for power to use the white space spectrum to sell hardware, software, and services that are more likely to enrich them than to serve the public interest. But, in my view, the white space spectrum should be allocated -- for free or with very modest fees -- to smaller companies, especially those trying local or regional wireless initiatives.

To read the rest of the column, see the original at Internet Evolution.

― Alan Reiter, Internet Evolution
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