Google push for wireless Internet on unused television spectrum

SAN FRANCISCO, March 24, 2008 (AFP) – Google wants US regulators to sign off on a plan to pack wireless Internet services into “TV white space” left empty as buffer zones between television broadcasting frequencies. Google on Monday sent the Federal Communications Commission its pitch to use TV white space for mobile Internet or telephone services instead of leaving it empty to assuage what it says are baseless worries by broadcasters.

“Unlike other natural resources, there is no benefit to allowing this spectrum to lie fallow,” Google counsel Richard Whitt wrote in a letter to US regulators.

“The unique qualities of the TV white space offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access to all Americans.”

Google’s pitch to the FCC comes a week after the California Internet powerhouse was declared a loser in high-stakes bidding for prime 700MHz portions of the US broadcasting airwaves.

US telecom giants Verizon Wireless and AT and T were the big winners in bidding that raised a record-setting 19.6 billion dollars.

The 700 MHz band currently carries standard television broadcasts, and will be freed up when stations switch to all-digital broadcasting after Feb