Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 18, 2008
Today, Google has launched yet another publicity campaign. FreeTheAirwaves.com asks the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to carve out a piece of airwaves, called white spaces, for free public broadband use.
But while the idea has appeal, and has gained support from FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, I just don’t see it going anywhere any time soon — despite this additional pressure from Google. Television broadcasters and wireless service providers are dead set against it. Devices supposed to work over white spaces keep failing government tests. And Google’s publicity campaign doesn’t help address either of these problems.
According to Google, the FCC will finally make its determination on white spaces this fall. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the vote is delayed yet again, as it has been for more than a year, due to industry resistance and technology issues. Perhaps Google hopes the FreeTheAirwaves campaign will help move the needle. I am not so sure.