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New Wireless Innovation Alliance lobbying group joins white spaces debate

Members of the White Spaces Coalition (WSC), the consortium of technology companies lobbying for unlicensed access to white spaces in the RF spectrum, have recently joined with technology innovators, public interest advocates, think tanks and higher education organizations to form the Wireless Innovation Alliance (WIA). The group has launched a Web site as part of its effort to make wireless broadband in the United States a reality. The WIA will work with the FCC and policymakers to develop clear, reasonable regulations that meet the group’s goals.

The new Web site includes fact sheets, policy backgrounders and other resources explaining the group’s goals. WIA members include most U.S.-based members of the WSC (Google, Microsoft, Dell, Hewlett-Packard), along with think tanks such as the New America Foundation; industry lobbyists such as the Information Technology Industry Council, VON Coalition and TechNet; non-profit groups like the Media Access Project and National Hispanic Media Coalition; and public interest policy groups like U.S. PIRG.

"We are living through a critical juncture in communications history — a moment when technological innovation has the opportunity to dramatically improve our access to information and quality of life,” said Michael Calabrese, New America Foundation VP and director of its Wireless Future Program. “Much as telephones, radios and TVs revolutionized telecommunications in previous generations, white space devices will transform every aspect of civil society. White space devices provide an innovative platform for a new generation of technologies, services and applications — they are the building blocks of a 21st century communications infrastructure."

The alliance also enjoys bipartisan support from Congress members committed to actively working to enabling technology innovation in the United States. The stated goal of the alliance is to work closely with policymakers to craft rules of the road that will enable the benefits of TV white spaces in areas like affordable broadband, education, emergency response, consumer products and future innovation.

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