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Another Jab At 'White Spaces'

Kim Hart

Today, several sports leagues, including the NFL, NASCAR, and NBA, formally challenged the "white spaces" proposal put forth by tech companies including Microsoft and Google.

In a filing, the leagues asked Federal Communications Commission require the technology companies that want to sell wireless white space devices to prove that their devices won't interfere with wireless microphones, which already operate in white spaces.

A group of prominent tech companies have proposed using fallow airwaves, known as white spaces, for wireless devices. The FCC is currently testing devices to determine if they can potentially be used by consumers without interfering with nearby signals.

Broadcasters have also opposed the use of white spaces for personal devices because they could get in the way of their signals. The tech companies say their devices should be able to detect existing signals and avoid them. The sports alliance's filing is the latest move in the prolonged back-and-forth on the issue.

Ken Kerschbaumer, executive director of the Sports Video Group, said the devices could knock out wireless communications systems like headsets used by coaches, microphones used by referees, and microphones used by journalists.

"Now is not the time for the Commission to be distracted by proposals that rely on unproven, yet-to-be-developed technical fixes,"said the Sports Technology Alliance in its filing. The Sports Technology Alliance was formed by the Sports Video Group and is made up of major professional and collegiate U.S. sports leagues.

No word on when the FCC will wrap up testing of the devices, but there will likely be more jabs by each side to keep us from forgetting about it. An advertising blitz on the issue was launched a couple weeks ago.

By Kim Hart  |  May 1, 2008; 3:34 PM ET  | Category:  Kim Hart
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Those greedy jerks who want to jam our TV pictures and wireless mics with digital noise must be the same ones who are behind the TOTALLY unnecessary switch to digital TV. Where is the FCC lapdog sleeping tonight?

Posted by: Bill | May 4, 2008 2:25 PM

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