Dolly is on one side. Google the other. The decision comes today.

The Federal Communications Commission is supposed to decide today whether to allow unused television broadcast spectrum to be turned over to wireless Internet gadgets. Google, Microsoft and a lot of rural communities favor using these “white spaces” for Internet Wi-Fi. Dolly Parton is against the proposal, fearing that Wi-Fi will interfere with wireless microphones used in concerts, sports venues, Las Vegas casinos and Broadway theaters. They argue filling the unused spectrum with Internet signals will cause static and interfere with broadcasts.

The New York Times has a good rundown on the issue today. The argument from rural communities is that the unused spectrum (left open when television broadcasts go all digital in 2009) will easily and cheaply bring Internet broadband to every county. A Google official said it would create “Wi-Fi on steroids…It could become a ubiquitous nationwide broadband network.”

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.