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Dingell supports licensing white space devices

Rep. John Dingell, the Democrat who heads the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has asked the FCC to consider licensing white space devices used between DTV channels.

Dingell suggested that a licensing proposal for a portion of the spectrum might help diminish the worries of broadcasters and wireless microphone users about random interference. Licensing fees, he added, could also raise money for the government.

So far, the white spaces debate has been about unlicensed spectrum. The FCC has been testing devices to see if they could automatically work for Internet access without interfering with broadcasters and other users.

“As the commission proceeds, it is my hope that it gives all due consideration to all proposals concerning the best use of the white spaces, including those proposals to license some or all of the spectrum available,” Dingell wrote in a letter to FCC chairman Kevin Martin.

Broadcasters are worried that such devices could interfere with DTV signals. Sports organizations, Broadway theater organizations and other wireless microphone users are worried about interference during events and performances.