The FCC plans to begin field testing prototype white space devices next week. The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) said that it already has conducted laboratory tests of the devices and that it will begin field tests, as originally laid out in its test plan announced in January. Testing is scheduled to last four weeks. All tests will be open to the public; specific dates and locations will be updated on the FCC’s Website.
Microsoft, Motorola and Philips have all submitted prototype devices for testing. Altgh the FCC has not made any official statements about test results thus far, many of the prototype devices have reportedly malfunctioned. But last month, Phillips said its device was able to run over white spaces without interfering with regular broadcasts.
While many in the wireless industry have lobbied the FCC for use of the unregulated airwaves, the National Association of Broadcasters has argued that devices running on the unused airwaves could interfere with other broadcasts, and that it’ not worth the risk.
The FCC has assured that it will only allow companies access to the unused airwaves, if “it can determine that commercial, unlicensed use will not cause significant interference to licensed TV broadcasters’ use of the spectrum.”