More Artists Join White Spaces Fray

Group of 100 musicians sign letter calling for FCC to put white spaces report out for comment.

By John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable, 10/28/2008 2:39:00 PM

Opponents of the effort to allow unlicensed mobile devices in the white spaces between TV channels have pulled out the big Guns N’ Roses.

From The Bangles to Michael Bolton, Clay Aiken to Don Henley—and yes, Guns N’ Roses—a group of 100 musicians have put their name to a letter calling on the FCC to put its white spaces report out for public comment.

Not since the heat of the “network neutrality” debate have both sides heated up journalist in-boxes with so many letters and filings on both sides of the issue.

FCC engineers have concluded that despite troubles in lab and field testing, the devices have proved that they can be made to work without interfering with TV signals and the wireless microphones that also share the same swatch of spectrum.

Computer companies welcome the news and are pushing the FCC to go ahead with a scheduled Nov. 4 vote approving the devices under certain conditions. To say that broadcasters, music and sports producers, religious broadcasters and others are unconvinced is putting it mildly.

In their letter to the five commissioners, the recording artists say that the Nov. 4 vote would “dramatically impair” their ability to deliver a quality concert performance, for which wireless microphones are crucial.

Pulling out the economics card, they point out that those concerts mean jobs and business for restaurants, hotels, caterers, local tax collectors and others.

Among the other well-known names on the list: Peter Frampton, Bonnie Raitt, Michael Feinstein, the Eagles, Neil Diamond, Dixie Chicks, Julianne Hough, David Archuleta, Brooks & Dunne, and a host of others.

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~ by archuletafanscene on October 29, 2008.

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