Google co-founder blames politics for 'white space' device failures
Following Tuesday's rollout of T-Mobile's Android-based G1 phone, Larry Page went to Washington on Wednesday, urging the FCC to hurry up with its decision about opening up "white spaces" of the spectrum for free use by Google and others.
The day after helping to launch the first Android phone on T-Mobile's commercial wireless network, Google co-founder Larry Page landed on Wednesday in Washington, DC, where he lobbied the FCC to provide the "white spaces" wireless spectrum free of charge to companies like Google -- along with end users -- for future wireless devices.
Retracing the steps he'd taken earlier this year to Capitol Hill, Page asked the FCC to issue a final order for access to the white spaces by election day in early November -- only a couple of weeks after T-Mobile expects to start selling commercial 3G services for its Android-based G1 phone.
As previously reported in BetaNews, Google, Microsoft and other members of a group called the White Spaces Coalition have been trying to "free" the vacant white spaces for some time now.
In March of this year, after Microsoft admitted a device made by its partner Metric Systems Corp. had "experienced an apparent power issue" in earlier testing, Google proposed Android as an alternative to Windows Mobile for use in the white spaces.
Meanwhile, the White Spaces Coalition has faced adamant opposition to its stance to the FCC, from forces that include the National Association of Broadcasters and the wireless microphone industry.
Page also took time during his trip to Washington this week to elaborate on an FCC filing made in August by coalition members in efforts to explain why white spaces devices failed to detect wireless microphones in later FCC field tests, held earlier this summer.
"Larry addressed the ways in which TV broadcasters and wireless microphone companies have unfortunately injected politics into the FCC's testing process, referring to August tests at FedEx Field just outside of D.C. and at the Majestic Theater in New York City. Those tests were intended to assess whether white space device prototypes could sense the presence of wireless microphone signals," contended Richard Whitt, Google's Washington telecom and media counsel, in a blog post on Wednesday.
"However, actions suggest that wireless microphone operators actually transmitted not on their normal channels but instead on channels occupied by TV broadcast signals. For instance, during the FedEx Field test, wireless microphones were improperly used on the very station that carried the broadcast of the game. As a result, the white spaces devices naturally could not detect the microphone signals, as they were hidden by the much more powerful TV signals."