Google wants to be white spaces database administrator

Google filed an application today with the Federal Communications Commission to become one of the administrators of a "white spaces" database, which the FCC is requiring before manufacturers can start selling white space devices.

A more detailed description of the database can be found in my earlier post. Google says it wants to build and maintain a geolocation database that wireless devices would have to connect to before sending or receiving data services over unlicensed airwaves between broadcasters stations. The database would tell those devices which frequencies are available in a particular location, and which ones to avoid because they are already in use.

The idea is to minimize interference for broadcasters and wireless microphones who worry white space use will interrupt their signals.

Rick Whitt, Google's telecom counsel in Washington, wrote in a company blog tonight that Google believes it is operate a strong database that will be open to the public and all interested parties.

"We continue to be big believers in the potential for this spectrum to revolutionize wireless broadband, and we think it's important for us to step forward and offer our assistance to make that vision a reality," he wrote.

The FCC voted to open white spaces to unlicensed use in November 2008. Since then, proponents such as Dell, HP and Microsoft have supposedly been developing devices that can use the white spaces and need such a database to detect occupied frequencies.

Back in February, Google said it had joined Comsearch, HP, Dell, Microsoft, Motorola and Neustar to launch to White Spaces Database Group to recommend technical standards to the FCC. At the time, Google said it did not plan to become the database administrator.

It is not immediately clear from the FCC's filing database if other companies have also applied. Today was the deadline for applications.

Take a look at Google's application below.

01-04-10 Google White Spaces Database Proposal