Skip to main content

Dolly Parton Pans White Spaces Vote

Singer Dolly Parton has weighed in on the issue of allowing unlicensed mobile devices to share the white spaces in TV spectrum with TV stations and wireless microphones, according to a filing to the FCC Monday.

"I don't know the legalese concerning this issue," she conceded in a letter to the FCC commissioners topped with her signature in bold typeface. "However, as a performer who tours much of the country throughout the year and is involved in several live entertainment ventures, I join with fellow producers and performers across the country in bringing this matter to your attention."

The matter, which has been capturing the attention of powerful forces in Washington, is that the FCC's engineers have concluded that mobile devices can be allowed to share the band, despite concerns from TV stations, sports and music producers, broadway and churches that the devices could interfere with TV signals and wireless microphones.

Parton said she was adding her name to the list of those asking the FCC to hold off on a planned Nov. 4 vote to approve the devices, with some caveats about more testing.

Parton said that among her ventures directly affected by the decision are Dollywood in Pigeon Forge; Nine To Five: The Musical, a Broadway bound production with her score attached; and the Grand Ole Opry.

Parton may not know the legalese of the issue, but she suggested she knew something about the politics, suggesting that folks could get the impression that the vote had been scheduled for Nov. 4 because "the Commission recognizes the significant controversy its vote will generate and is therefore making all efforts to divert media attention away from its decision."

Parton asked the FCC to put the FCC engineers report out for comment rather than vote it Nov. 4, echoing the calls by broadcasters, major sports leagues and some powerful religious broadcasters.