Wednesday, September 10, 2008

13,000 people (so far) stand up to "free the airwaves"

From The Google Public Policy Blog:


Sent to you by Jake via Google Reader:


via Google Public Policy Blog by Google Public Policy Blog on 9/6/08

Posted by Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel

Two weeks ago, we launched Free the Airwaves, an effort to bring together Internet users to open up unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels ("white spaces") for affordable, nationwide high-speed wireless Internet connectivity. I'm excited to say that your initial response to this campaign has been overwhelming.

As Ars Technica reports today, more than 13,000 of you already have signed the online petition asking the Federal Communications Commission to allow unlicensed use of this unused spectrum. Your comments are being filed formally with the FCC's public comment system (just type in the proceeding number, 04-186).

It's great to see so many people standing up for more wireless broadband options, but we can't rest on our laurels. A few entrenched D.C. interests -- including TV broadcasters, wireless microphone manufacturers, and cell phone carriers -- don't want to see the vacant spectrum be used for unlicensed broadband access, and you can bet that they'll be working hard to get Congress and the FCC to see things their way. With an FCC vote on this issue expected as soon as this fall, the time is now to show your public support for freeing the airwaves.

So what can you do to get involved?
The potential of white spaces is real. Check out Inez Gonzalez from the National Hispanic Media Coalition talking about how this vacant spectrum can help bring the Internet to underserved communities:


Things you can do from here:


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