Broadcasters drop suit to block ‘white space’ devices


The first devices that can use the “white space” spectrum to access the Internet arrived on the commercial market last month.

NAB had sought to block the FCC from allowing the devices to use the "white space" spectrum for fear that they would interfere with routine television broadcasts.

But in asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to dismiss the case, NAB said it had "reviewed the FCC's Third Opinion and Order and determined that it is no longer necessary for it to pursue this petition for review."

Harold Feld, legal director for consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, which has long championed the devices' potential, said "we commend NAB for filing to dismiss its court challenge to the FCC's white spaces order."

"Assuming the court grants the motion, the last potential legal obstacle to the use of this valuable unlicensed spectrum will be removed and the innovations that are just beginning can continue to proceed with new confidence," Feld said.

Proponents of “white space” devices say they can expand access to the Internet at lower costs to consumers.