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TechNet Calls for Reserving Channels for Unlicensed Use

With Microsoft pushing the FCC to set aside broadcast spectrum for unlicensed use as a way to promote rural broadband deployment, and the FCC preparing to repack TV stations in the broadcast band after the incentive auction, the issue of broadband use of so-called TV white spaces has heated up.

If the FCC is going to set aside the channels, it is going to have to tee that up before it starts the repack process in the next few weeks.

Among the latest to weigh in is TechNet, which represents tech execs from an eclectic membership group that includes Microsoft, Apple, AT&T, eBay, and noncommercial WGBH Boston.

Related: NAB Voices Its Concerns With Microsoft Spectrum Proposal

TechNet President Linda Moore, in a letter to the five commissioners, asked the FCC to speed the process of setting aside spectrum, which she argues can boost rural broadband, one of the FCC's key priorities under Chairman Ajit Pai.

"TechNet is respectfully calling on the FCC to facilitate an environment in which unlicensed broadband technologies using low band spectrum (the so-called “TV white spaces”) can flourish," Moore wrote. "Taking this action, including preserving the availability of three 6 MHz-wide TV white space channels in every market across the country, will allow providers to make broadband more widely available and improve the lives of millions."

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

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.