Rush Introduces White Spaces Production Bill

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Illinois Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush has introduced a bill that would keep unlicensed wireless devices out of the broadcast band until after the transition to digital in February 2009.

The FCC has already tentatively concluded that it will allow such devices to operate in the so-called "white spaces" between TV channels 2-51, but has not said that definitively even whether it will allow unlicensed, rather than licensed, devices in the band at all and has not set a date for allowing them in .

Concerned about possible interference during the digital transition, broadcasters favor pushing the date back--they would rather not have the devices operating in the band at all, but that ship appears to have sailed.

The Rush bill would also put off even considering allowing unlicensed mobile devices in the broadcast band until 2012. The FCC was less definitive about whether it would allow unlicensed mobile devices, asking for comment on that issue.

While the Rush bill would benefit broadcasters, it is billed as protection for wireless microphones, which are used in sports and music production as well as by many churches ().