FCC approves Google's white spaces database

The FCC allows Google database for public use

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has approved for public use a Google database that shows so-called spectrum white spaces available for mobile broadband devices.

The FCC this week announced that its Office of Engineering and Technology has approved the database for public use. The database is designed to track what unused, or white spaces, spectrum in the television bands is available for new Wi-Fi-like uses.

The FCC began a trial of Google's white spaces database in March.

FCC rules require that databases be used to protect TV signals, commercial mobile radio services and other services from interference by white spaces devices. Unlicensed users in the TV spectrum, including wireless microphone users, must register with white spaces databases to protect their services from interference, the FCC said.

Several companies have applied to operate white spaces databases. The FCC approved Spectrum Bridge as the first white spaces database provider in December 2011.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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