back to article FCC defies Dolly Parton, opens white space waves

Defying TV broadcasters, wireless microphone makers, God, and Dolly Parton, the FCC has opened America's "white spaces" to unlicensed net devices. "Opening the white spaces will allow for the creation of a WiFi on steroids," according to a canned statement from Federal Communications Commission commissioner Kevin Martin. "It …


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  1. TeeCee Gold badge

    Short memories.

    Funny how musicals, live music, overly pneumatic C&W stars and greedy, thieving nutjob jezuz freaks existed before wireless mics isn't it? I wonder how that worked?

    I reckon that if this bill goes through, both Dolly Parton and televangelists will continue to exist. Bit of shame really.

  2. mike kiely

    Good way to extend the Digital Commons

    Great foresight! Given the UK 3G auction fees (£24bn) seem to have an indefinate effect on SMS and roaming charges, would it not be great if the UK Digital Dividend (spectrum auctions)was given to the public in the form of extending internet access rather than a dividend in the form of yet another subscription charge?

  3. Daniel

    No title is required.

    "While we appreciate the FCC's attempt to address significant issues raised by broadcasters and others, every American who values interference-free TV should be concerned by today's Commission vote,"

    Actually, I don't give a crap about interference-free TV (I hate advertisements, and watch everything on DVD even if it means I have to wait for it to come out), but I like the idea of more wireless bandwith floating around, so I think I'll back the FCC on this one, thank you very much.

    Oh, and the wireless mic people can get stuffed - they're whitespace squatters themselves, why should they get special treatment over any other whitespace squatter?


  4. Gareth Jones Silver badge

    Doesn't this mean...

    ...that there can now be no more new TV channels? If so this can only be a good thing.

  5. Matthew Joyce

    Dolly the sheep?

    I had to reread the sentence twice more before my eyes stopped telling me that Cade wasn't talking about the 'music hall of farmer Dolly Parton'. I didn't know that buildings could join lobby groups (although it makes sense for buildings with lobbies) and I'd never heard that Ms Parton had become a farmer. Fortunately it turns out that I only either need a dyslexia test or new glasses.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Out of those 110 million household 105 are on cable or FIOS

    Let's be real. Only a complete idiot will watch free-to-air TV in the USA. Frankly, I do not understand why they still bother polluting the airwaves at all. Nearly all households have cable (or Verison's alternative where available).

  7. Mike Crawshaw

    The Obama Effect In Action!

    Do ya think McCain & Palin would have defied God & Dolly Parton????

  8. Elmer Phud

    Beach Towels

    daniel: "Oh, and the wireless mic people can get stuffed - they're whitespace squatters themselves, why should they get special treatment over any other whitespace squatter?"

    Just because the TVangelists (that's the God, telly and wireless mic argument inna bun) have become accustomed to having the place more or less to themselves doesn't mean they own it. Now another bunch of people are heading for the same public beach and are looking to set their beach towels out. "We've been coming here for years and now there's new people getting here and setting up in our favourite spots. This is our space and our beach". No, it's public. Anyone can get up early and claim their space. The ice cream van doesn't have a VIP area.

  9. Mike Silver badge

    Only Idiots?

    Count me as an idiot then. What little TV I watch, I watch over the air, and since "the magic of Digital TV" has the effect of drastically shrinking the coverage area to, uh, roughly the folks who can, and do, have cable, I suspect my life will shortly become TV-free. I get a watchable analog signal on about 20 channels, versus maybe 6 of the alleged 40 digital channels from the same group of towers.

    And BTW: my brother-in-law has Comcast for TV and internet, and has to switch off the cable-modem (not just his computer) to get a digital TV signal (over that cable) that doesn't look like it's in the witness protection program.

    So, in summary, digital is not immune to interference, it just hides it until it goes completely sideways. Such as, when your neighbour's "Wifi on Steroids" starts up a big torrent because "Heck, that TV station is 20 miles away, I couldn't be interfering with it."

  10. Daniel


    Actually, I consider the forced digital upgrade to be the final death blow to free-to-air television. While I almost never watch television now, I do have one - when it's important, I can turn on the news or get an emergency broadcast to find out what's going on. However, I will NOT upgrade my television just for this occasional viewing, especially when it is likely that during the times I need it most it will not work (storms, etc.). As far as I am concerned, broadcast television has already been killed, it just has not stopped twitching yet - it will do that in 2009.


  11. Herby
    Thumb Down

    Just wait...

    When a politician gets his wireless microphone interrupted, then things might change.

    In the mean time we will have rock concerts and NFL football games interrupted.

    One of these days the bozos at the Friendly Candy Company will actually READ the reports and test data.

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