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Google, Facebook Join International White Spaces Alliance

Google and Facebook have joined an alliance to promote worldwide spectrum policy to free up so-called spectrum "white spaces" for unlicensed devices.

The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance announced the additions (which also included Texas Instruments) at its first annual meeting in advance of the opening of the ITU Telecom World 2013 conference in Bangkok Tuesday. The alliance already included Microsoft and BskyB, among others.

The Alliance wants to make "dynamic access" the "default" mode for radio spectrum globally, with room for "legitimate" interference concerns.

Microsoft, Google and others successfully promoted the use of the white spaces between TV channels in the U.S., while broadcasters there raised interference concerns.

The alliance also supports "technology-neutral" regulation. It was formed in June of this year to push the unlicensed spectrum agenda, though under the more positive-sounding "dynamic" brand, which is a way to access unlicensed spectrum via technologies that sense where such spectrum is available.

The FCC is currently trying to decide how much spectrum to make available for unlicensed devices.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.