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Broadcast to Broadband: Unlicensed Access to Unused TV Channels?
March/April 2008 (vol. 12 no. 2)
pp. 71-75
Michael Calabrese, New America Foundation
Although much public attention has focused on the US digital TV transition ? and the resulting reallocation of analog TV channels by auction to wireless carriers ? the US Federal Communications Commission will decide how to reallocate an even larger swath of prime TV band spectrum this year: the unused "white space" between occupied DTV channels. This reallocation of unused spectrum from broadcasting to broadband permits unlicensed access for both fixed and mobile applications. Although this policy is strongly supported by high-tech companies and consumer advocates, it's just as strongly opposed by broadcast licensees and other incumbent users of the TV band.

1. "Comments of Charles L. Jackson and Dorothy Robyn," The Brattle Group, ET Docket No. 04-186, 31 Jan. 2007;
2. "Digital Dividend Review: A Statement on Our Approach to Awarding the Digital Dividend," Ofcom, 13 Dec. 2007, pp. 44–45.

Index Terms:
Public policy, spectrum, allocation, broadcast, broadband, FCC
Michael Calabrese, "Broadcast to Broadband: Unlicensed Access to Unused TV Channels?," IEEE Internet Computing, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 71-75, March-April 2008, doi:10.1109/MIC.2008.29
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