Tag Archives: NYCwireless

NY City Council Hearing: The Regulation and Use of the Unallocated Portion of the Radio Spectrum, Also Known as White Spaces on Sep 28 @ 10am

The New York City Council is holding a hearing on “The Regulation and Use of the Unallocated Portion of the Radio Spectrum, Also Known as White Spaces” on Monday, September 28th @ 10am in the Committee Room at City Hall. I will be there presenting on behalf of NYCwireless. We need as many people as we can get to attend and support us.

Here’s a press release from Josh Breitbart and Free Press about the hearing:

Groups Call on NYC to Open Public Airwaves to New Technology

City Council should embrace ‘white spaces’ and bring high-speed Internet to all New Yorkers

NEW YORK — Community media, public interest and immigrant rights advocates are calling on the New York City Council to endorse “white spaces” technology that could boost the economy and drive down the cost of mobile phone calls and Internet access.

White spaces are the unused portions of the public airwaves between television channels. According to a study conducted by Free Press, one-fifth of New York City’s television channels are currently not being used. New technology can use this vacant spectrum to send powerful, high-speed Internet signals — connecting New Yorkers to a fast, open and affordable Internet.

“Opening the white spaces would close the digital divide, and it wouldn’t cost us a dime — or, rather, it would save us a lot more than a dime on what we’re paying now for Internet access and cell phone service,” said Joshua Breitbart, policy director of People’s Production House.

The Federal Communications Commission is currently considering whether to open up the white spaces to the public. Engineers at the FCC, through extensive testing, have shown that low-power, mobile devices can utilize white spaces to connect to the Internet without interfering with TV broadcasts and wireless microphones on adjacent channels.

Lobbyists from the National Association of Broadcasters, cell phone carriers and wireless microphone companies have launched a misinformation campaign to prevent white spaces from being used to provide high-speed broadband access.

“Unfortunately, many key decision-makers simply lack the bandwidth to investigate the benefits of white spaces technology,” said Timothy Karr, campaign director of Free Press. “Instead they hear misinformation from industry lobbyists who come knocking with lies and spin meant to paint this technology as a danger to humanity.”

A draft resolution currently before the City Council, sponsored by Councilmember Gale Brewer and Speaker Christine Quinn, claims white space devices would be “devastating” to Broadway productions. The City Council Committee on Technology in Government is holding a hearing on the resolution on Monday, Sept. 29, 2008, at 10 a.m., in the Committee Room of City Hall. It is a public forum where anyone can testify.

“White spaces could provide an affordable alternative for people like me who use expensive phone cards to call family and friends back home in other countries,” said Abdulai Bah of Nah We Yone, a community group that advocates for African refugees in New York.

The Internet is Serious Business Film Screening on Sept 30 @ 7:30pm

I, along with Joe Plotkin and a number of other Community Wireless and network innovators, gave a talk a while ago for at People’s Production House. It was a great experience talking about the history of NYCwireless and the Community Wireless movement, and the students were very engaging and asked a lot of thoughtful questions.

The talks were recorded and edited into a movie, which will premiere on September 30. Everyone is invited to attend the screening:

An alien comes to New York City to discover how humans communicate, and is intrigued by the huge networks of cables, routers, and servers that we call the Internet. Who owns all that stuff and how does it work? Join us at Anthology Film Archives for the debut screening of the video “The Internet is Serious Business.” CUP Teaching Artist Helki Frantzen worked with People’s Production House and students from City-As-School to produce this Urban Investigation about the physical infrastructure that undergirds the Internet. Please RSVP to info@anothercupdevelopment.org

The Internet is Serious Business
Tuesday, September 30 at 7:30 pm
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue (at 2nd St.)
New York, NY
F/V to 2nd Ave
free and open to the public