October 26, 2008

Net Neutrality: TV Broadcasters Oppose Whitespace Program

By admin

In the US, TV broadcasters have officially filed their opposition to any plan to leverage available ‘white space’, or unused broadband wireless airwaves for public use.  They argue that transmitting wireless broadband on white spaces could interfere with TV signals.

Original story here.

I’m not an expert in this field, but the claim that airwaves will interfere with broadcasters doesn’t make a lot of sense.  For years, the strategy of cable suppliers has been to hook the cable into homes, creating a network that only they can control.

Now, with public white space, they’re claiming interference, but what would transmissions interfere with if all cable and ‘broadcast’ stations are deliverd through broadcast?

Anyways, that’s a tangent that will probably get me hung up on details that I’m under-informed on.

Instead, what struck me when reading this article is the idea that we should be looking into a similar program here in Canada, but the core consideration being a publicly-run and owned transmission network for broadband that would rival Bell and Rogers.

For a while, I’ve been preaching that the official mandate of the CBC should be expanded to make the Internet a social and public asset so that we don’t face issues like throttling and if we get our act together and elect the right government, maybe we’ll be able to do this.  Don’t expect any miracles with the current government, though 😉