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Bill Gates Backs FCC On White Spaces Agenda

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has Microsoft mogul Bill Gates in his corner when it comes to keeping a white spaces item on the agenda of the FCC's Nov. 4 meeting.

That is according to an FCC notice about calls Gates placed this week to both Martin and Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps.

According to the FCC, Gates praised the FCC's recent conclusion that laptops and other devices can be allowed to share the so-called "white spaces" between TV channels.

"Mr. Gates observed that adopting the flexible operating rules advocated by the White Spaces Coalition (of which Microsoft is a member) is essential in enabling white space devices that will provide affordable broadband opportunities and create new markets for innovative applications and services," the FCC said in its notice about the communication. "Mr. Gates also emphasized the need to conclude this proceeding on Nov. 4 to allow companies to begin the process of bringing the benefits of white spaces to consumers.

Martin has scheduled a Nov. 4 vote on allowing the devices, and is said to have at least three "soft" votes for the item.