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New White Spaces Bill Surfaces

On Tuesday, computer companies eager to use the so-called white spaces between TV channels praised a new bill that would allow unlicensed devices to operate in the broadcast band.

The White Spaces Coalition--which includes Google, Dell, Microsoft, among others-- said the bill would keep the U.S. "at the forefront of technological innovation and services.”

The Wireless Innovation Act, introduced on March 20 by Reps. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Nathan Deal (R-Ga.)  would require the FCC to allow both fixed and portable unlicensed devices to operate in the band.  The devices would be subject to technical standards to prevent interference with TV service.

The FCC has already said it would allow advanced wireless devices in the TV band  and had expressed a preference for allowing them to be unlicensed.

Just last week, Illinois Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush introduced a bill that would prevent the FCC from approving unlicensed fixed devices in white spaces until after February 2009. It would also prevent it from even considering mobile unlicensed devices until 2012.