Feeds

Google flaunts white space wireless magic

'This is not Russian Roulette'

Security for virtualized datacentres

Google is running its very own "white space" tests, as it continues to push a master plan to stream high-speed internet access over unused television airwaves.

As part of the White Space Coalition, Google is one of the big-name high-tech outfits urging the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve the use of personal computing devices that transmit data over television "white spaces" - portions of the TV spectrum that aren't used for broadcasting. Others include Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Philips. That's right: Google and Microsoft are actually partners on this venture.

Previously, Microsoft and Philips took the lead on the coalition's white space tests. But with a recent letter to FCC, Google has let the world know it's doing some testing of its own.

On December 4, according to the letter, the Mountain View, CA outfit met several engineers in the FCC's office of engineering and technology, demonstrating tests involving two separate white space technologies. "In both cases, these test results demonstrate that digital televisions (DTV) and wireless microphones can be amply protected from harmful interference by unlicensed personal/portable devices, using reasonable power levels and sensing thresholds."

You see, local TV stations have opposed the white space plan, arguing that computing devices would mess with their signals. The National Association of Broadcasters - the trade association that serves more than 8,300 local radio and television stations - actually launched a newspaper and TV ad campaign that badmouthed the likes of Microsoft and Google. In one television ad, a gray-haired biddy looks perplexed as interference hits while she's trying to watch an American football game.

Earlier this year, a Microsoft white space prototype failed the FCC's tests, and the NAB took this as proof that Microsoft and the gang were dead set on destroying American television. "By continuing to press its self-serving agenda, Microsoft is playing Russian Roulette with America's access to interference-free TV reception," said NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton.

Meanwhile, Microsoft insisted that its prototype was broken, and the FCC has committed to additional testing.

Google did not respond to our requests from comment on its new tests, and Ed Thomas, the former FCC head of engineering that represents the white space coalition, referred most of our questions to the Mountain Viewers. but Thomas did say that Google's news indicates how very serious the company is about white space devices.

"Very, very simply, the fact that Google has a prototype indicates their commitment to this project," he told us. "You don't show up on Tuesday, pray for a prototype, and get it on Wednesday." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US
Biting the bullet would let Blighty-based biz flip the bird at AT&T
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.