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White Space Momentum

Many of you are leaving this blog by clicking a link to either the online petition which urges the FCC to free the TV white spaces for open unlicensed use or by going directly to the FCC e-comment page (docket 04-186). Can't see whether you actually leave a comment or what you say, of course, but assume many of you are filing and are supportive. Thank you very much; it matters a lot to the economy as a whole (see here) and to rural areas in particular (see here).

Critical to momentum are the other blogs and news sites that are also actively featuring the story. I'm sure there are many more that I don't know about. Because of the crosslinks, my post and the blogs linking to it were on the front page of Techmeme over most of the weekend. The post was also stumbled upon, which drove yet more traffic through the post and to the petition. Currently the post is the most active article listed in the Internet Marketing section of BusinessWeek's Business Exchange.

Blogs (Thanks, fellow bloggers).

Fred Wilson's A VC Open Up The TV White Spaces

Brad Feld's Feld Thoughts Encourage The FCC To Improve the Internet

The Jeff Pulver Blog Act NOW for Better Internet Access. Support Technology Innovation in America.

Vermont Tiger Free The White Space

Vermont News Sites

The Burlington Free Press Internet to replace unused TV channels?

The Rutland Herald FCC decision could help Vt.

Seven Days staff blog Blurt Will the FCC Help Vermonters Access Broadband?




Momentum is great but this is no time for complacency. Lobbyists from the National Association of Broadcasters and the Telecom powers that be are working hard to delay with intent to kill. It takes lots of comments to outweigh them, The deadline for comments to the FCC is tomorrow, Tuesday, October 28!

If you haven't already done so, you can help by either e-signing an online petition (provided by Google but you can change the words) or by using the FCC's e-filing system here - be sure to enter docket number 04-186 if you do. It's actually a simple form. There's no need to say much; just let the FCC know you're in favor of a favorable vote on unlicensed use of TV white spaces and that the vote should happen as scheduled on November 4.. The deadline for comment has just been extended to Friday, Oct. 31, 5:30PM ET.


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Tom Evslin


Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer. If you can really establish a mesh as you describe for $50/household, I’m pretty confident that you won’t regret it assuming the students can access the whole Internet and not just the school. I’m a great believer in mesh technology but haven’t seen a demonstration of this kind of success at this price.

Good luck.

Tom Poe

Assume the FCC opens the white spaces. Assume the state of Vermont is broadband capable by 2010. Just exactly how much will it cost each household to connect their child to the school network in order to complete their homework assignments in the evenings and on weekends from their homes? In other words, a "last mile solution". Please email me with a response, as I would like to toss the response in the face of our local mayor. Jim Erbs, mayor of Charles City, Iowa, will not support a $50 per house (one time fee) for establishing a community-based wireless mesh network that provides every student with free broadband connection to their local school network. tompoe@fngi.net

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