Free White Space Mapping

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Spectrum Bridge, creator of SpecEx, the online marketplace for spectrum, has announced the launch of the new Web site

White spaces refers to frequencies allocated to broadcast television, but not used. In the analog era they were necessary as a guard band to prevent interference between channels. With the advent of digital tv, those guard bands are unnecessary.

Beginning June 12, 2009, unused white space frequencies are scheduled to become available, and can be used for a wide variety of applications, including home and enterprise WiFi networks, wireless multi-media distribution, wide area broadband network connectivity, wireless video, municipal wireless networking and many other innovative applications.

Visitors to the site can use their online tool to find open TV channels (white spaces) available at any location in the U.S. You can enter your address and check to see what white space channels are open. White spaces channels are expected to be free and unlicensed (like Wi-Fi), but will incorporate radio frequency and GPS location sensing to avoid interference with local television stations.

A technology development fund seeded by the FCC, helped develop the service, according to Spectrum Bridge co-founder Rick Rotondo. He said the site can be used by wireless Internet providers or by TV stations that want to check and see whether the FCC has gotten their coverage area right. The company gets its information from the FCC in a nightly update of all the commission’s databases.

The site also seeks to educate consumer, business and government users on the applications and benefits of this new unlicensed broadband spectrum.

Seven leading technology companies announced earlier this year that they are working together to facilitate the timely creation and operation of a white spaces database.

The White Spaces Database Group is mapping areas of unused spectrum and enabling devices to verify what frequencies are available based on positional information (likely GPS or cell tower triangulation). The White Spaces Database Group includes Comsearch, Dell, Google Inc., HP, Microsoft, Motorola, and NeuStar.

The FCC approved a controversial plan in November, 2008 to allow unused portions of TV airwaves for wireless broadband service. It stipulated the need for an online database that devices accessing the spectrum must read in order to find out what channels they are allowed to use. The database would be built and run by a third party and will be selected through a “public process.

The Second Report and Order (press release), followed action by the Commission on November 4, 2008 (FCC 08-260). Separate statements were issued by Chairman Martin, Commissioners Copps, Adelstein, Tate and McDowell.

Related DailyWireless stories include; Commerce: Free is Bad, White Spaces: It’s The Law, TV White Spaces: New Era for Wi-Fi?, NAB: Blowblack on Whitespace, White Spaces: Green Light from FCC Report, White Space Field Testing, Welcome to the White Space, Microsoft Disputes FCC Unlicensed Finding, FCC: License-free 700MHz Devices Failed Test, Broadcasters: Portable Devices Kill DTV, Mud Fight in White Space, Pushing for “White Space”, Google Launches White Space Offensive, Motorola on Whites Spaces: We’re Good, White Space Field Testing, Google Pitches White Spaces, White Spaces: Now It’s GE, CTIA: Unlicensed White Spaces Bad, 700 MHz Resurrected in White Space, White Space War Continues, White Spaces Prototype: Dead Again, Sprint and T-Mobile Support “White Space” Use, White Space Gets Hot, FCC Broadband Taskforce Recommendations, Consumers to FCC: 700MHz Democracy Now!, Broadband Wireless — Hello Goodbye, Microsoft’s “Free” Phone?, Bills Expand Unlicensed UHF Access, 700MHz Battle Begins, Cognitive Brains Self Organize, Unlicensed 700Mhz Access, Mobile/Handheld TV: Killer App?, Mobile TV War at NAB, NAB 2007: Dead Man Walking? and Unlicensed Spectrum: The Sum of All Fears.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Monday, February 23rd, 2009 at 9:11 am .

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