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October 29, 2008

Google, Dell and the Technology CEO Council Urge FCC to Move Forward with White Space Vote

On November 4th, the Federal Communications Commission is slated to conduct a proceeding to establish whether or not it should move forward in establishing guidelines for the technological advancement and use of the available white space.

Some are urging the FCC (News - Alert) to delay this proceeding, claiming there has not been adequate time to evaluate all comments and associated variables. However, this issue has been under FCC examination for more than four years.

The capabilities and technologies that will be developed as a result of the available white space can change and ultimately improve the way that we as consumers do things from communicate, enjoy entertainment, establish home networks and so much more.

Before these developments can be optimized for use, the Federal Communications Commission must establish guidelines for the initial use of the white space and subsequent technologies.

Google (News - Alert), Dell and the Technology CEO Council are weighing in on this initiative. CEOs, founders and executive directors are urging the FCC to move forward and establish these guidelines in order to move the initiative forward in a controlled manner.

The National Association of Broadcasters has requested that a November 4th proceeding be delayed on the grounds that they have not had adequate time to file comments with the Commission. The white space docket has been open for more than four years and contains more than 30,000 public comments.

To learn more about White Spaces visit: WIA video.

Michael Dell (News - Alert), chairman and CEO of Dell, wrote to the commission to offer his thanks for the tremendous achievement of voting on a spectrum policy order to advance American innovation and job growth through the white space. He highlighted that white spaces technologies will form the foundation of a whole new class or wireless broadband services.

Dell also noted that there will be more expansive Internet access available in all communities, urban and rural, through laptop computers and other wireless devices. Such connectivity will spur increased economic productivity in light of the serious challenges that lie ahead in returning our economy to stability and growth.

The approval of the white spaces is expected to trigger a boom in investment, job creation and consumer demand in the high-tech sector, which Dell considers the engine of our information economy.

Ultimately, Dell is requesting that the commission resist calls to delay the vote and recognize that last-minute efforts to impose onerous and unnecessary restrictions are nothing more than attempts to kill innovation.

The Technology CEO Council (TCC) and Executive Director, Bruce Mehlman urge much of the same. Mehlman highlighted in his letter that authorizing unlicensed use of the TV white spaces spectrum will boost America’s high technology sector and stimulate the investment, entrepreneurship and innovation needed to accelerate deployment of broadband.

Mehlman added that American citizens and students will benefit from connecting to the longer range, wireless services that become possible through the white space spectrum, and that we all stand to gain from increasing market-based competition among service providers and infrastructure builders.

The TCC also respectfully urged the commission in the white spaces proceedings to seize the moment, increase investment, promote competition and expand economic opportunity. Mehlman’s letter emphasized that more than four years of exhaustive technical work on this proceeding has confirmed the lack of interference or other reasons to delay further.

Google Chairman and CEO, Eric Schmidt, has also weighed in with his opinion, highlighting that the FCC’s Office of Engineering Technology has conducted eight months of unprecedented lab and field testing to determine that the time is right to move forward with this innovation.

Schmidt echoes the sentiments of both Dell and Mehlman, urging the commission to delay no longer and move forward with the vote on November 4th. The importance of this day has far-reaching implications for all Americans and a vote for progress in the white spaces is seen as an important step for long-term innovation.
Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is Fixed Service Strategies for Mobile Network Operators, brought to you by Comverse (News - Alert).

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart

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