Sabtu, 29 Maret 2008

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Google wants US regulators to sign off on a plan to pack wireless Internet services into "TV white space" left empty as buffer zones between television broadcasting frequencies.

Google on Monday sent the Federal Communications Commission its pitch to use TV white space for mobile Internet or telephone services instead of leaving it empty to assuage what it says are baseless worries by broadcasters.

"Unlike other natural resources, there is no benefit to allowing this spectrum to lie fallow," Google counsel Richard Whitt wrote in a letter to US regulators.

"The unique qualities of the TV white space offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access to all Americans."

Googles pitch to the FCC comes a week after the California Internet powerhouse was declared a loser in high-stakes bidding for prime 700MHz portions of the US broadcasting airwaves.

US telecom giants Verizon Wireless and AT and T were the big winners in bidding that raised a record-setting 19.6 billion dollars.

The 700 MHz band currently carries standard television broadcasts, and will be freed up when stations switch to all-digital broadcasting after February 17, 2009.

The spectrum is poised to become a conduit for high-speed telecommunications and Internet services delivered to mobile devices across the United States.

Carriers like the spectrum because signals travel long distances and penetrate buildings better than parts of the radio frequency spectrum they are now allowed to use.

Google evidently joined the bidding to make certain that conditions of sale included keeping the 700MHz spectrum accessible to competing telecom and Internet companies.

"In the 700 MHz auction proceeding, Google advocated for openness at various network layers," Whitt wrote.

"In the context of TV white space, consumers will be able to enjoy robust access to the Internet, including the ability to download and utilize any lawful applications or content that is desired."

As is the case with the 700 MHz spectrum, Google said, TV white space could be used for wireless communications and Internet services.

"It should not be the governments role to protect the status quo, especially by blocking access to the new," Whitt wrote.

"The value of the TV white space to all Americans simply is too great to allow this unique opportunity to be blocked by unfounded fear, uncertainty, and doubt."

Google is ready to share "spectrum sensing" technology that would protect television broadcasts, or wireless microphones that rely on white space, from interference, Whitt said.

The white space, located in channels not used for satellite or cable television broadcasting, could couple with computer developments to provide "gigabytes-per-second" mobile data transfers in the near future, according to Google.

Putting white space to work will enhance the prospects of economical, or advertising driven, "G-phone" mobile telephones based on an open-source Android platform backed by Google, according to Whitt.

More than 30 companies are developing mobile telephones based on the Android platform, according to Google.

"TV white spaces can provide uniquely low-cost mobile broadband coverage for all Americans," Whitt wrote.

"Android-powered handsets should begin appearing commercially later this year, and would be an excellent match for the TV white space."


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