Google en onde
Selon un article du Washington Post (enregistrement requis, David Lawsky, Reuters, 6 Nov 2008), Google travaille avec les autorités américaines, spécifiquement la Federal Communications Commission, pour s’approprier les fréquences hertziennes du spectre télévisuel inutilisées entre les chaînes pour offrir l’accès à Internet pour les communautés rurales.
Le site du FCC difusait le 4 novembre dernier les commentaires des commissaires ainsi qu’un communiqué :
FCC ADOPTS RULES FOR UNLICENSED USE OF TELEVISION WHITE SPACES
In its continuing efforts to promote efficient use of spectrum and to extend the benefits of such use to the public, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today adopted a Second Report and Order (Second R&O) that establishes rules to allow new, sophisticated wireless devices to operate in broadcast television spectrum on a secondary basis at locations where that spectrum is open. (This unused TV spectrum is now commonly referred to as television “white spaces”). The rules adopted today will allow for the use of these new and innovative types of unlicensed devices in the unused spectrum to provide broadband data and other services for consumers and businesses.
The rules represent a careful first step to permit the operation of unlicensed devices in the TV white spaces and include numerous safeguards to protect incumbent services against harmful interference. The rules will allow for both fixed and personal/portable unlicensed devices. Such devices must include a geolocation capability and provisions to access over the Internet a data base of the incumbent services, such as full power and low power TV stations and cable system headends, in addition to spectrum-sensing technology. The data base will tell the white space device what spectrum may be used at that location.
Wireless microphones will be protected in a variety of ways. The locations where wireless microphones are used, such as sporting venues and event and production facilities, can be registered in the data base and will be protected in the same way as other services. The Commission also has required that devices include the ability to listen to the airwaves to sense wireless microphones as an additional measure of protection for these devices.
All white space devices are subject to equipment certification by the FCC Laboratory. The Laboratory will request samples of the devices for testing to ensure that they meet all the pertinent requirements.
Un dépêche de l’Associated Press (4 novembre 2008) donne quelques détails concernant l’effet de la résolution votée par les commissaires du FCC :
The vote is a big victory for public interest groups and technology companies such as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. that say white spaces could be used to bring broadband to rural America and other underserved parts of the country.
The vote came over the objections of the nation’s big TV broadcasters, which argue that using the fallow spectrum to deliver wireless Internet access could disrupt their over-the-air signals. Manufacturers and users of wireless microphones — including sports leagues, church leaders and performers of all stripes — have also raised concerns about interference.
The next step for opponents could be a fight on Capitol Hill or a lawsuit to stop the FCC plan from taking effect.