Alaska Senator Weighs In on White Spaces

Murkowski Joins 56 Other Members of Congress

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska and member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, became the latest member of Congress to express concern over plans by computer companies and others to utilize the "white spaces," or unused spectrum within the broadcast band, to provide wireless Internet access and other services.

In a letter to Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin, Murkowski noted that such devices could interfere with digital-TV broadcasts and potentially disenfrachise viewers who buy DTV sets or government-subsidized digital-to-analog converter boxes.

She urged the FCC to continue testing such devices, following up on previous efforts to gauge their interference with DTV reception.

"Clearly, it is in the best interest of the commission to ensure that all Americans -- many of whom will purchase new digital-television sets or install government subsidized digital-to-analog converter boxes in the coming months -- are able to receive a television signal after the digital-television-conversion deadline," Murkowski wrote.

The letter was distributed by the National Association of Broadcasters, which noted that 56 other members of Congress have already weighed on the white-spaces issue with the FCC.

The complete list, with links to their letters to the FCC, follows below:

Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.), Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Reps. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Marion Berry (D-Ark.), Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.), David Scott (D-Ga.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Robin Hayes (R-N.C.), Walter Jones Jr. (R-N.C.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), Melvin Watt (D-N.C.), Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), Brad Miller (D-N.C.), David Price (D-N.C.), Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Ralph Hall (D-Texas), Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas), Sam Johnson (R-Texas), Nick Lampson (D-Texas), John Carter (R-Texas), Al Green (D-Texas), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Dave Hobson (R-Ohio), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio), Steven C. LaTourette (R-Ohio), Tom Price (R-Ga.), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), David Scott (D-Ga.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), Mark Souder (R-Ind.), Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Jon Porter (R-Nev.), Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), Michael Michaud (D-Maine), Tom Allen (D-Maine), Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.).