The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to allow wireless spectrum abandoned in the switch to digital television to be used for wireless Internet connections. The use of these so-called “white spaces” in the spectrum is expected to quicken broadband connections in rural communities and make broadband less expensive.

Broadcasters and theater producers opposed this move, contending that Internet signals could bleed into wireless microphone frequencies and television signals. Technology companies like Google and Microsoft favored the FCC’s action.

Rural communities expect the FCC’s decision will create more competition among companies that provide broadband. Broadband will become “massively available,” according to some tech writers, and the connections will be “ultra-fast.”

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