Federal regulators have approved a plan to use currently unlicensed parts of the US TV airwaves, known as white spaces, to deliver broadband services.
For more than two years this proposal has pitted new media against old.
Companies, including Google, HP and Microsoft, say opening up the spectrum would improve internet access for Americans, especially in rural areas.
But opponents, from TV networks to Broadway producers, say it could disrupt their over-the-air signals.
The unanimous 5-0 vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is being seen as a major victory for the big technology companies that lobbied long and hard to open up the white spaces, which are the empty airwaves between television channels.
They have said the plan would encourage innovation and investment in much the same way the spread of Wi-Fi technology has and this would lead to the creation of internet-connected wireless gadgets.
Read more: BBC News