Report Proposes Public Broadband Nets


On the eve of two hearings Tuesday on the rollout of broadband high-speed Internet and video service, the studies were flying thick and fast.

In addition to two released by the Benton Foundation  suggesting the U.S. was behind the curve and a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, there was another from BNA division Pike & Fisher. Their study was suggesting the FCC should carve out a space for community networks from some of the so-called white spaces between broadcast channels it plans to open up to advanced wireless services, likely unlicensed ones, as part of the switch to digital.

That space, it says, could be used for so-called public interest IP networks (PIPs), that could provide free broadband access.

Broadcasters are concerned that any unlicensed use of the space between digital TV channels poses interference risks to the nascent DTV service, and ones the FCC will be hard-pressed to correct in an unlicensed environment.