Tuesday, November 4, 2008

White Spaces: Smart Tech or Static Transmission?

Since our inception, Future of Music Coalition has worked to ensure that artists and fans can use emerging technologies to create, distribute and discover new music.

We also believe in creating opportunities for musicians to reach potential audiences, regardless of their geographic locale. Expanded broadband service is critical to artists and fans alike, and that’s why we support new technologies that will help get more mileage out of the existing spectrum.

FMC endorses policies that allow for the smart use of spectrum, including the creation of more non-commercial Low-Power FM radio stations in between existing full power commercial stations.

But efficient spectrum usage doesn’t stop there. There’s been a lot of talk lately about “white spaces” — unoccupied TV frequencies that can be used by new, “smart” technologies for a slew of purposes, including getting broadband to hard-to-service areas. The way we see it, this would ultimately help artists connect with more people, and build digital bridges to more communities.

As with any new technology, however, there are concerns about implementation. Some performing arts groups are worried that unlicensed white space devices (WSDs) would cause interference with their own wireless microphones. We believe that these concerns can be resolved, provided there’s constructive dialog between the white space advocates and the performing arts community. Over the last year, FMC has been working hard to foster such discussions.

Today, the FCC voted to approve rules authorizing the use of white spaces for new devices, which will set the stage for further testing. This is a very significant vote (even in the midst of a major election), so we put together a statement that articulates our position on white spaces. You can read it here.

For more information about white spaces, check out these links:

"FCC report: White space devices work as 'proof of concept'"
— Ars Technica

"FCC looks to back White Spaces" — Ars Technica

"Airwaves Battle Pits Dolly Parton Against Google"
— New York Times

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Also please support the digital community radio stations. See www.26mhz.us !