You’ve heard of Wi-Fi, WiMax and 3G wireless technologies. Add another oddly named wireless creation to the list: white space. White space is industry lingo for the unused airwaves that abut TV spectrum and provide a buffer from stray signals and other interference.
On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on a measure that would make white space available for wireless broadband. Under the proposal, these airwaves would be treated like Wi-Fi — unlicensed and free to everybody.
“It will be like the Wi-Fi you get at Starbucks, only a lot better,” says FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, who first proposed the idea four years ago. The FCC’s goal: to serve the expanding broadband needs of U.S. consumers.
“We are trying to make sure we’re using this spectrum in the most efficient way possible,” Martin says.