Microsoft hosts conversation addressing myths and realities of unlicensed TV white spaces

On Dec. 17, Microsoft’s Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. assembled panelists from the New America Foundation, Texas Instruments, the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation and Lerman Senter PLLC law firm to offer insight into the current state of affairs in the field of unlicensed spectrum use.

Panelists participated in a wide ranging conversation, which included topics such as the potential uses of spectrum white spaces, the state of standards work, the policy issues pending before the FCC and the potential economic value of unlicensed use in the TV band. The experts sorted through the myths and promises of TV white spaces in order to discover what it will take to make robust unlicensed TV band use a reality.

Paula Boyd

Microsoft’s Paula Boyd provides opening remarks on the unlicensed use of TV spectrum.

Microsoft Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs Paula Boyd kicked off the event by welcoming attendees and providing an overview of the unlicensed use of the TV spectrum band. Moderated by Microsoft Principal Technology Policy Strategist Michael Nelson, the dynamic panel included: Michael Calabrese, director, Wireless Future Project, New America Foundation; Richard Thanki, Institute for Complex Systems Simulation (ICSS), University of Southampton; Peter Flynn, business development manager, Texas Instruments; Stephen Coran, attorney, Lerman Senter; and Amer Hassan, Microsoft’s principal group program manager.


Panelists engage in conversation on Dec. 17 at Microsoft’s Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Each panelist addressed the impact of unlicensed spectrum, including its economic and global impact. Others de-bunked myths around TV white spaces and provided a history of the rules and regulations surrounding the industry. Microsoft is working with key partners around the world to ensure consumers have access to an increasing range of connected devices. To meet growing consumer demand and address other policy challenges, we must consider multiple approaches which can be used that enable opportunistic, dynamic use of spectrum.

Following the discussion, we spoke with Michael Nelson for an overview on the issue and why the conversation was important:

We also had a chance to chat with Richard Thanki to get his thoughts on the panel discussion: 

Michael Calabrese also stopped by to talk to us following the panel:

Amer Hassan was excited to tell us about the engaging discussion:

Peter Flynn also provided his perspective on the conversation:

Stephen Coran joined us to discuss why this topic is so important:

Missed the event but want to learn more? Check out the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #WirelessDC.

We also encourage you to visit to learn more about these topics as they were addressed at recent Wireless 2020: Spectrum Crisis or Broadband Abundance? held by the Internet Society of DC.

Editor’s Note: This post was updated to include five video interviews on Dec. 23.

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