Feeds

Anti-white-space lobby enlists God, Dolly Parton

A wireless divine right

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

As part of an ongoing effort to bar internet devices from the country's television white spaces, Goosoft-battling government lobbyists have rolled out two pillars of the American heartland: God and Dolly Parton.

On Friday, mega-church leader Rick Warren fired a letter at FCC commissioner Kevin Martin, claiming that white space net gadgets "will create an unnecessary interference in the worship services of hundreds of thousands of churches across the country." And he was soon followed by Ms. Parton, who warned that these devices may have "direct negative impact" on Dollywood, the Grand Ole Opry, and "9 to 5: The Musical."

On November 4, the FCC is set to vote on a proposal that would approve net-happy white space devices, and as the day approaches, those who oppose the plan - the TV and wireless microphone industries - have put their FUD into high gear. As we reported earlier today, Congressman John Dingell - chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee - tossed his own letter at chairman Martin on Friday.

The FCC plan was originally floated by a coalition of big-name tech outfits, including Dell, HP, Intel, Philips, and - believe it or not - both Google and Microsoft. Under the proposal, America's white spaces - portions of the television spectrum that do not house active channels - would become unlicensed spectrum. That means anyone could grab some off-the-shelf hardware and use these airwaves to get online - WiFi-style.

Earlier this month, the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology released a report saying these devices could operate in a way that avoids interference with hardware already operating in the television band, including not only TVs but wireless microphones. But the TV and wireless microphone industries see things differently.

Rick Warren and Dolly Parton have joined the anti-Goosoft lobby because their respective operations enjoy wireless microphones. "As someone who uses the white spaces and knows the value of them for the work that I and many of my friends do around the country, I ask the FCC to recognize the entertainment industry's valuable contribution to the cultural life and economy of this country," Dolly writes.

"If the FCC ignores the value provided by current users of white spaces, the potential direct negative impact on countless people may be immeasurable."

Meanwhile, Warren says that white space wireless mics "create a greater intimacy between pastors, musicians, and the audience" inside his ginormous Saddleback Church. "In the 400,000 churches across the United States, a number of them in our network, hundreds of millions of worshippers like the ones here at Saddleback Church will have their most sacred time of the week interrupted by devices interfering with virtually all licensed microphones," says the man who cemented his fame this summer after putting Barack Obama and John McCain in the Saddleback.

But Warren and Parton have left out a rather important detail: Most white space wireless microphones are illegal. As it stands, the FCC doesn't permit devices in the band unless they're officially licensed to the broadcaster. And most wireless microphones are not.

But that hasn't stopped microphone makers in the past. So why should it stop them now? Apparently, they have a divine right to the airwaves. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.