FCC officials visit Microsoft to examine experimental network
U.S. Federal Communications Commission officials have visited Microsoft Corp.'s Redmond, Wash., campus to examine an experimental network relying on unused TV air waves the company hopes will help lead to expanded Internet access, according to a public filing.
Microsoft, Google Inc. and other companies have long advocated for the unlicensed use of so-called white spaces spectrum, or television spectrum now unused following the digital TV transition, to improve wireless Internet access.
The FCC approved the unlicensed use of white spaces spectrum in late 2008, though the practical aspects of providing public access are still being worked out.
In a filing with the FCC made late last month, Microsoft says Charles Mathias, an adviser to FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, FCC Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis Chief Paul de Sa and OSP Deputy Chief Zachary Katz visited Microsoft's campus on April 28.
Microsoft used its campus-wide,"White-Fi" network to demonstrate for the officials "how unlicensed white spaces spectrum enables innovative wireless broadband uses," according to the filing.
Critics of the unlicensed use of white spaces spectrum for Internet access have argued that it will cause interference with wireless microphones.
Microsoft says in the FCC filing that it demonstrated that "wireless microphone systems could be protected using database technology without disruption," though no details are provided about results of the demonstration, or the FCC officials' impressions.
An FCC spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. A Microsoft spokesman also didn't respond to a request for comment.
Microsoft disclosed the building of its experimental, White-Fi network at its campus on the outskirts of Seattle last year. Microsoft maintains more than 30,000 of its roughly 88,000 employees in Redmond.
In September, a study commissioned by Microsoft was published that estimated white spaces spectrum could be worth more than $100 billion over the next 15 years, thanks to the increased use of wireless devices and Internet services.
Microsoft has invested heavily in its online services unit, and unveiled a revamped Internet search engine last year. The company has also entered into a partnership with Yahoo Inc. that has it serving up search results and advertising on Yahoo Web pages, in a revenue-sharing arrangement.
Источник: Total Telecom
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