The FCC announced plans to begin a second round of testing devices running on the “white spaces” between digital TV channels. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said testing will begin Jan. 24 and will include devices submitted by Microsoft, Motorola and Phillips. The commission said testing will be “open and transparent,” and that devices will be tested in both labs and the real world. The FCC expects testing to take about three months after which it will issue a report.
The commission ran similar tests last year, and results showed interference with DTV reception, but Microsoft, also part of the original testing, said one of its prototype devices was faulty, so the FCC has agreed to retest.
A coalition of tech companies, which includes Dell, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Philips, and others, believes it is possible to transmit broadband Internet service over the unlicensed and unused TV spectrum between channels, saying it could make Internet service more accessible and affordable. However, broadcasters have lobbied against the idea, saying that Internet service might still interfere with DTV signals.
The coalition said that if this round of testing is successful and the FCC approves devices, commercial devices should go on sale after the digital TV transition in February 2009.
Filed Under: Infrastructure