Google faces off with former partners over 'white space'

NeuStar Inc., which operates the directories that manage nearly all telephone area codes and numbers, also wants to be considered as a database manager. NeuStar was formed when the FCC decided that customers "owned" their telephone numbers and could transfer them freely between carriers. The company also manages the .us and .biz top level domain names.

Frequency Finder Inc. wants to be named as the administrator. So does KB Enterprises LLC, in partnership with LS telecom AG, both spectrum consulting firms. There’s also Telcordia Technologies, Inc., Comsearch and Key Bridge Global LLC.

Ironically, NeuStar and Comsearch had originally been Google's partners, joining hands not long ago to come up with technical standards for the FCC. It appears they also wanted in on the action.

But there’s still the issue of wireless microphones, which could fall victim to interference if white spaces aren’t used properly. Microphone makers have been lobbying for increased protection against signal interference. The FCC is expected to take action on the issue soon, agency sources say.

Shure, a maker of wireless microphones, is backing a bill introduced last month by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) that would require the FCC to provide access to the geolocation database to 13 classes of wireless microphone users.

The idea is that giving event producers, broadcasters and other wireless mic users access to the database will help protect them from interference.

Mark Brunner, Shure's Senior Director of Global Brand Management, said wireless microphones “serve many important public interest uses that are critical to communities and entertainment in American society today,” like news outlets, sports, theatres and churches.

“We applaud Rep. Rush for introducing legislation that will enable microphones and white space devices to simultaneously use the white spaces without harmful interference to wireless audio systems,” Brunner said.