Earlier this week, the Federal Communications Commission gave their approval for the first database and the first hardware device that can access the white spaces wireless spectrum. The device is made by Koos Technical Services and will be tested in the Wilmington, North Carolina area starting in January 2012. White spaces use is expected to expand nationwide in the future.
The so-called white spaces are actually unused parts of the broadcast TV signal spectrum in the US. So if you can pick up a TV signal at home, you could be able to access a signal from the "white spaces" to access the Internet. Business Insider has posted an interview with Dan Reed, the corporate vice president of Microsoft's Technology Policy Group. Reed claims that Microsoft is in full support of using white spaces for wireless Internet needs.
He states in the interview:
If you look at the economic returns that have been accrued by WiFi, it's a multi-billion economic impact. We absolutely believe this has the same potential. Given the explosive demand for wireless communications, perhaps even larger.
Reed also says there are a number of different business models for white spaces use including free, advertiser-based, subscription-based and more.