AfterDawn: Glossary

White Spaces Coalition

The White Spaces Coalition is a group of companies working together to win FCC approval for use in the United States of devices that use the frequencies in between DTV broadcasts, the so-called "white spaces" where no channel is being broadcast, for wireless communication. To date, one device tested by the U.S. regulatory agency has failed, causing interference with existing (licensed) frequencies in the process. A second device has been submitted to the FCC, and is currently being tested. Although it's also had problems operating correctly, unlike the first test unit it hasn't interfered with existing broadcasts when it's broken down, and therefore is still being considered by regulators.

Proponents of white space networking claim that it could be used to allow broadband internet connections of up to 80Gbps (80 billion bits per second), or 10GBps (10 billion bytes per second).

Companies in the White Spaces Coalition:

  • Dell
  • Earthlink
  • Google
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Philips
  • Samsung Electro-Mechanics


Opponents say it poses too much risk of interfering with licensed TV broadcasting, and shouldn't get FCC approval. The majority of these concerns are being raised by broadcasters and broadcast industry groups.

In the News

14 October 2007 - Tech companies and broadcasters bicker over white space

  • Tech companies and television networks are feuding over the use of so called "white spaces" in the television spectrum for wireless devices.... (Read More)

12 February 2008 - White space wireless fails second round of FCC testing

  • A wireless device which would use the so-called "white spaces" between broadcast television channels for wireless communication has failed FCC testing.... (Read More)

21 February 2008 - Latest White Space device didn't fail FCC tests

  • According to backers of controversial new devices that would make use of the so-called "white spaces" between DTV broadcasts for wireless networking, FCC testing of their latest submission isn't the complete failure that's been reported.... (Read More)


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