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Google's Page talks TV 'white space' plan

May 26, 2008

Google co-founder Larry Page has spoke in-depth concerning the company’s proposal for a new generation of wireless devices to operate on soon-to-be-vacant television airwaves.

Page is hoping to convince lawmakers in Congress and officials at the Federal Communications Commission to allow the 'white space' between television channels to be accessed by low-power wireless devices. “I think it will make a huge difference to everybody,” Page said.

Page highlighted the benefits of making more spectrum available, while downplaying opposition from broadcasters, and makers and users of wireless microphones, who fear the wireless devices would cause interference.

“I think the debate’s really been politicised,” Page said. Page said making more spectrum available would benefit computer users, giving them Internet connections with greater range and speed, and it would also benefit Google itself. “If we have ten per cent better connectivity in the US, we get ten per cent more revenue in the US, and those are big numbers for us,” Page said.

Google is part of a coalition of technology companies that has been lobbying the FCC to allow unlicensed use of white-space spectrum. The group also includes Microsoft Corp, Dell Inc, Intel Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co and the north American unit of Philips Electronics.

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