Google Fights For Open Airspace

A battle is brewing over who should control soon-to-be-unused space on America’s television airwaves.

Google co-founder Larry Page met with lawmakers today to push his plan to let new wireless devices use the so-called “white space” spectrum. The airwaves will become available next February when broadcasters switch over from analog to digital signals. Page says using that vacated space for new wireless devices would lead to faster and more widely spread internet connections.

Microsoft, Dell, and HP, among others, have also been lobbying for use of the space. But professional sports leagues like the NFL and NASCAR are trying to snag a piece of the prize, too. The athletic organizations currently use some of the space for wireless microphones at sporting events.

The National Association of Broadcasters wants to leave the space open. It cites testing failures by the FCC and worries the added use could interfere with digital TV signals.