The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) has approved Spectrum Bridge’s television white spaces database system, which may provide service to devices beginning January 26, 2012. OET also has approved a device by Koos Technical Services as the first product allowed to operate on an unlicensed basis on unused frequencies in the TV bands. The Koos device will operate in conjunction with the Spectrum Bridge TV band database.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement, “With today’s approval of the first TV white spaces database and device, we are taking an important step toward enabling a new wave of wireless innovation. Unleashing white spaces spectrum has the potential to exceed even the many billions of dollars in economic benefit from Wi-Fi, the last significant release of unlicensed spectrum, and drive private investment and job creation.”

Unused spectrum between TV stations – known as “white spaces” – provides a major new platform for innovation and delivery of service, with potential for both research and commercial applications. Development of unlicensed radio transmitting devices has already led to a wave of new consumer technologies, including Wi-Fi and other innovations like digital cordless phones and in-home video distribution systems that have generated billions of dollars of economic growth.??

Commission rules require that unlicensed TV band devices contact an authorized database system to obtain a list of channels that are available for their operation (i.e., channels not occupied by authorized radio services at their individual locations and must operate only on those channels.

The approval granted by OET allows Spectrum Bridge to commence operational service to new devices that can take advantage of the TV spectrum to provide service over greater ranges than those of Wi-Fi devices operating on higher frequencies.??

Initial operation under this approval will be limited to Wilmington, NC and the surrounding area and will expand nationwide pending completion and activation of the Commission’s facilities for processing requests for protection of unlicensed wireless microphone at event venues. Parties in the Wilmington area that wish to register wireless microphones for event venues during this period of limited operation must send a request to OET by e-mail in accordance with the instructions provided in the Public Notice. The new KTS TV bands device is designed and approved for fixed operations that serve any broadband data applications. The device will contact the Spectrum Bridge database to identify channels that are available for operation at its location and can provide high-speed Internet connectivity.

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