New FCC White Space Fellowship program reaches beyond borders

The Federal Communications Commission is creating a new International TV White Spaces Fellowship and Training Initiative, which will give the commission a chance to work with international regulators and spectrum experts on TV white space issues.

The program, announced Jan. 9, will make invitations available to select international parties designated as “White Space Fellows” for them to attend training classes at FCC facilities on TV white space issues. Based on what a commission announcement described as “the extensive experience gained through years of work spent examining the use of TV white spaces by unlicensed wireless devices,” the commission will offer remote training to regulators and technical experts. FCC staff also will travel to meet with the group to offer advice and insight, the commission said.

The FCC also announced a new Web site devoted to using TV white spaces for wireless broadband. The site will include information on the tests the commission conducted leading up to its November 2008 rulemaking that has opened the television spectrum to unlicensed devices. Training videos also will be available online.

The FCC also plans to conduct annual meetings of White Space Fellows and other parties to share information and exchange ideas on using white spaces.

The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) and the International Bureau (IB) will oversee the fellowship initiative and will seek qualified candidates for the program who are familiar with the technical aspects of wireless communications, particularly broadband services, and the testing of commercial wireless devices for commercial use.

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