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FCC to Vote on White Spaces Rural Broadband Item

The FCC will vote at its October meeting to expand the use of the "white spaces" between TV channels for rural broadband, something Microsoft has been pushing and broadcasters have some issues with.

(Image credit: FCC)

Related: Microsoft Pushes FCC on White Spaces Expansion

According to FCC chairman Ajit Pai, the "targeted changes" will protect TV broadcasters while allowing for greater broadband coverage in rural and unserved areas.

He said it will also allow for the development of "new and innovative narrowband Internet of Things devices in TV white spaces."

It has been more than a year since the FCC put its white spaces agenda on hold while encouraging Microsoft and broadcasters to hash out a spectrum-sharing agreement for wireless broadband. At that time, Pai (during Congressional testimony) cited the “tricky” technical and policy matters the agency needs to address even as Microsoft and TV stations try to find a middle ground on the band’s use.

Microsoft and NAB ultimately agreed on four of the computer company's five proposals, the holdout being the use of high-power on adjacent-channel issue, which Microsoft continues to push for and the NAB to push against.