Government // Mobile & Wireless
News
11/6/2008
05:16 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Co-Founder Larry Page Giddy For White Spaces

The technical executive of the search engine said utilizing white spaces is good for the country, and it could increase the company's revenue by as much as 30%.

The Federal Communications Commission's decision to enable unlicensed public use of TV white spaces will lead to tremendous business and productivity opportunities, especially for Google, co-founder Larry Page said Thursday.

During a keynote session with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Page repeatedly said he is optimistic about the future of devices and services that use these white spaces for cheap wireless broadband. He expects the majority of computers and cell phones to have white spaces capability within the next few years.

White spaces sit between broadcast TV channels and can potentially be used for high-speed wireless access. Google, along with companies like Microsoft and Motorola, has been lobbying the FCC for unlicensed use. But broadcasters, telecoms, wireless microphone makers, and even music performers have been adamantly opposed on grounds that it may interfere with nearby spectrum.

"One of the ironies is that wireless mics are a great example of how unlicensed spectrum can be used, as a lot of them did not go through the FCC certification process," said Martin.

One of the main appeals of using the white spaces is that it can go through multiple walls and cover large geographic areas. Page and Martin envision a not-too-distant future where these white spaces are utilized to provide access to widespread wireless broadband, particularly in rural areas, which have long lagged in broadband penetration.

"The government should be encouraging its infrastructure to have nice high-speed wireless everywhere; it's good for the country and good for the economy," Page said.

However, Google and companies like Microsoft and Motorola do not just have altruistic reasons for wanting the white spaces to be unlicensed, as having easy access to high-speed Internet presents multiple revenue opportunities.

"We make most of our money on advertising on search, and there are a lot of times I can't easily do a Web search even with 3G or open Wi-Fi networks," Page said. "If people can get easily connected anywhere [with white spaces], we can make 20% to 30% more money."

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on InformationWeek.com
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.