It seems that everyone from Don Henley to Dolly Parton is concerned about the FCC’s upcoming rules on the use of white space.
More than 100 musicians represented by the Recording Artists Coalition sent a letter to the FCC yesterday expressing “profound concern” regarding news reports suggesting the FCC will be voting on Nov. 4 on a plan that would “dramatically impair our ability to deliver state-of-the-art, live performances to our fans.”
The fear is that unlicensed wireless devices in white spaces will interfere with wireless microphones. “The thought of having to debate each night which band member gets to have the one wireless microphone that might be available in a given market on a given night is not a scenario we want to face, nor is it one that benefits the concert-going public,” the letter states. Stone Temple Pilots, Miley Cyrus, Neil Diamond, Brooks & Dunn, the Dixie Chicks and Samantha Ronson are among the scores of artists listed on the letter.
The white spaces issue pits the stars against companies like Google, Microsoft and Motorola, which want white spaces available for wireless devices. Tech companies argue that offering the white spaces, currently unused by TV stations, on an unlicensed basis will allow for broadband in rural areas.
On Friday, singer Dolly Parton sent a letter recommending the FCC defer its Nov. 4 vote, publish the proposed rules and allow a comment period. “I don’t know all the legalese concerning this issue so I’ve had some very smart people inform me about the legalities here,” she said at the start of her letter, printed on letterhead with her cursive Dolly Parton name at the top. As a current user of the white spaces, she knows the value of them for the work that she and many of her friends do around the country, she said.
And while she doesn’t know all the “legalese” around the issue, she said she was “simply confounded” the FCC has refused to allow the public to review rules before they’re put to a vote. “Because the FCC has not allowed any opportunity for comment and scheduled its vote on the day of the Presidential election, the public might assume the commission recognizes the significant controversy its vote will generate and is therefore making all efforts to divert media attention away from its decision,” she stated.
Filed Under: Industry regulations