No plans are in place yet, and it is confusing how things will proceed, but federal regulators have cleared the way for companies to use vacant TV airwaves for building a wireless network that some are calling WiFi on steroids. The plan for the so-called White Spaces is thick with controversy, but that’s not stopping technology companies, like Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), Google (NSDQ: GOOG), HP (NYSE: HPQ), Motorola (NYSE: MOT) and Sprint (NYSE: S) Nextel, from valuing the opportunity at billions of dollars.
The FCC voted 5 to 0 today in favor of adopting rules for using the airwaves for wireless broadband, Bloomberg reports. The vote simply rubber-stamps technical standards, following an earlier vote in November 2008 that originally approved opening up the airwaves.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s agenda since taking office is to open up more spectrum for wireless broadband networks as demand in the U.S. grows.