Stacey Higginbotham, Super Wi-Fi or white spaces, what’s up with unlicensed broadband?, Gigaom, Sept. 1, 2011
I’d like to know the relative amount and quality of the spectrum allocated to unlicensed devices in the white spaces in both the U.S. and U.K. The original plan in the U.S. was to have a meaningful amount of white spaces allocated to unlicensed. Due to the power of the broadcast lobby, the white spaces available for unlicensed was significantly whittled down until, it could be argued, not much more than the dregs were left. Not surprisingly, commercial interest in so-called Super WiFi also dropped. But in the U.K., the broadcast lobby isn’t as all-powerful (this largely has to do with its parliamentary system), as evidenced by its digital transition, which did a much better job of limiting socially harmful windfalls to the broadcast lobby. This suggests the U.K. may also have done a better job with the white spaces allocated for unlicensed.