Filling spectrum 'white space'

[SOURCE: Los Angeles Times, AUTHOR: Editorial staff]
[Commentary] The looming shift from analog to digital television signals in February 2009 will open a prime set of frequencies to new uses. Nationally, UHF channels 52 to 69 are being cleared for public safety communications and broadband wireless services. Regionally, significant chunks of unused airwaves could open up between channels, depending on how many stations are broadcasting in the area. These "white spaces" are the subject of an intensifying debate in Washington. Broadcasters, sports leagues and some TV manufacturers started an advertising blitz this week urging policymakers not to let portable devices transmit on those bands of spectrum. They are opposed by a coalition of high-tech firms and consumer electronics companies that wants to use the vacant TV airwaves for high-speed Internet access, home networks and other digital services. The broadcasters have raised some legitimate points, but their concerns amount to more of a caution sign than a red light for the Federal Communications Commission. If portable devices can be made in a way that avoids interference with digital TV and related signals, they should be allowed into the market.,1,111908.story?coll=la-news-a_section
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