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March 07, 2012

Spectrum Bridge Tackling the Spectrum Crisis

Over 10 years ago, the first generation of Wi-Fi emerged, and to everyone’s dismay, grew to become the premier method of accessing broadband capabilities and connectivity. However, with mobile phone usage growing, and organizations clamoring for more broadband to support their range of devices, this demand has exacerbated what many are calling a spectrum crisis.

Foreseeing the challenges to come, the FCC in 2010 released a national broadband plan, a layout to facilitate broadband deployment to the U.S. and to resolve this rapidly growing spectrum crunch. Two years later, the FCC is still grappling with the issue as organizations across the globe are looking for new ways to open up additional broadband.

Back in September 2011, the FCC reinforced its support for white space spectrum, issuing a public notice announcing that the Office of Engineering and Technology would initiate a 45-day public trial of Spectrum Bridge’s TV band database system. Amid sparring between FCC and broadcasters, other broadband giants, including AT&T, Verizon and LightSquared, approached FCC with similar requests that would support their efforts in acquiring additional swaths of spectrum in order to meet the demands of mobile-hungry customers.

Said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at that time, “Unleashing white spaces spectrum will enable a new wave of wireless innovation. It has the potential to exceed the billions of dollars in economic benefit from Wi-Fi, the last significant release of unlicensed spectrum, and drive private investment and job creation… The result of white spaces innovation has already led to a wave of new consumer technologies, including Wi-Fi and other innovations like baby monitors and cordless phones that have generated billions in economic growth.”

The limited database trial involving Spectrum Bridge was intended “to allow the public to access and test Spectrum Bridge’s database system to ensure that it correctly identifies channels that are available for unlicensed TV band devices, properly registers those facilities entitled to protection, and provides protection to authorized services and registered facilities as specified in the rules.”

Since the trial kicked off in September, Spectrum Bridge, a spectrum management company, has emerged triumphant, as the FCC this year approved its initiative to enable people to make use of unused spectrum – a first for the industry. Shortly after the FCC’s approval, Spectrum Bridge attended ITEXPO East 2012, where the company’s CTO, Peter Stanforth, discussed the challenges Spectrum Bridge faced in convincing the FCC to back the unused spectrum plan, and the doors it has opened for mobile users across the globe.

“We’ve added more lanes to the highway and raised the speed limit so you can go faster… We won’t conquer the world this year, but we hope to start to,” Stanforth told MobilityTechzone.

To hear more, check out the video above.                                                                                 

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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