F.C.C. Approves Wide Use of "White Space" Frequency

News   F.C.C. Approves Wide Use of "White Space" Frequency The Federal Communications Commission voted 5-0 (five to zero) to approve the general public use of a free, unlicensed broadcast frequency that is currently used by Broadway shows for wireless microphones.

The Broadway League has expressed concern that if people use these so-called "white spaces" to support handheld devices near a theatre, Broadway amplification could possibly be compromised, leading to static-filled performances, or worse, dangerous backstage communication blackout between crew members. The F.C.C. commissioners indicated at a Nov. 4 public meeting that, based on their testing, theatrical shows (and other events/broadcasters using the spectrum) are not at risk for disruption, and that future devices would be able to sense an in-use frequency and shut down, thus preventing a clash of technologies.

"It's fair to say few other engineering analyses at the F.C.C. have been as lengthy and open," said Michael Copps, a commissioner, according to The New York Times.

The white spaces are seen by the commission (and by tech companies) as a wider and more powerful way for wireless devices such as cell phones and laptop computers to be supported.