Google, which wants the Federal Communications Commission to allow unlicensed mobile devices like laptops to share the digital-TV spectrum, is headlining a pep rally for that position on Capitol Hill next week.
The event will include a lineup of speakers from the tech industry -- Google cofounder Larry Page, Marc Berejka of Microsoft -- as well as from activist groups Media Access Project and Free Press and veritable host of others.
The goal of the event is to "showcase the vast consumer and economic benefits of white spaces." White spaces -- broadcaster opponents of the unlicensed devices call them “interference zones” -- are the spaces between TV channels in the DTV spectrum band.
The event will be Sept. 24 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, and it comes one day after the annual TV conference in Washington, D.C, of one of the strongest opponents of sharing the DTV spectrum with mobile, unlicensed devices -- the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV).
MSTV said the devices will interfere with DTV transmissions, potentially disrupting the transition to digital. Proponents said broadcasters are simply being protectionist and that the devices can be made to more effectively use the spectrum without interfering with TV stations.
The FCC has been testing the devices with an eye toward allowing them, but only if it can be sure that they will not interfere with DTV pictures.