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June 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

While the FCC continues to prevaricate on the use of “white spaces,” the frequencies between TV channels designed to keep one from interfering with another, Britain appears set to launch a white-spaces test in Cambridge that would use the spectrum for a kind of wide-area wi-fi. In a statement some of the U.K.’s largest media and technology companies, including the BBC, satellite operator BSkyB, British Telecom, Microsoft, Nokia and others, said that they had chosen Cambridge because of its “dense mixture of buildings, including the historic stone buildings of its colleges, which offer a unique opportunity to demonstrate the penetration of TV white spaces signals when compared with other higher frequency networks such as wi-fi.” The group hopes to establish that use of the white-spaces spectrum will not interfere with television signals or mobile devices, a concern that has blocked such tests in the U.S. In an interview with the London Financial Times, Dan Reed, an executive with Microsoft, which is spearheading the Cambridge test, warned that the world will eventually run out of spectrum space if it continues only to use existing technology. “The TV white spaces offer tremendous potential to extend the benefits of wireless connectivity,” he said.