Finding Your Space in the White Spaces: Frequency-Finding Service Launches

By Dan Daley

The White Spaces drama has been pushed back till June, but free enterprise is already finding ways to make negotiating use of unused TV-channel spectrum a little easier when the time comes. On Feb. 23, Florida-based Spectrum Bridge launched a Website-based service for locating available wireless frequencies in a given area. At ShowMyWhiteSpace.com, visitors can enter either a specific address or geographical coordinates, and the site will locate usable frequencies from a database that combines mapping functions with information on occupied and open TV channels.

VP of Marketing Rick Rotondo says the move was a natural one for the company, which he describes as “the eBay of spectrum.” The company was formed in 2007 to leverage the secondary spectrum market created by the FCC’s 2000 Spectrum Initiative, which put an estimated $160 billion worth of “excess” spectrum, scattered from 50 MHz to 39 GHZ, up for commercial use.

ShowMyWhiteSpace.com will also allow visitors to register their wireless systems for the planned-for White Spaces database. Permanent wireless installations can apply for a permanent 1-km RF buffer around them; mobile wireless users can apply for temporary buffers by stating time and place of usage. These protections will begin on June 12, the revised start date of the broadcast switchover to digital.