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Wireless Innovation Act

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On February 17, 2006, Senator George Allen (R-VA) introduced the Wireless Innovation Act of 2006 (WINN Act). The legislation aims to facilitate the development of wireless broadband Internet access by allocating certain areas within the broadcast spectrum known as white spaces that are otherwise unassigned or unused. Senators John Kerry (D-MA), John Sununu (R-NH) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) co-sponsored the bill. The WINN Act specifically requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to permit unlicensed use of unassigned broadcast spectrum between 54MHz and 698 MHz within 180 days of enactment.

The bill reads:

SEC. 2. WHITE SPACES. (a) Completion of Order- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act , the Federal Communications Commission shall complete its proceeding and issue a final order regarding white space in the matter of Unlicensed Operation in the TV Broadcast Bands, ET Docket No. 04-186.

(b) Conditions- In completing the requirement described in subsection (a), the Federal Communications Commission shall in such final order--

(1) permit unlicensed, non-exclusive use of unassigned, non-licensed television broadcast channels between 54 MHz and 698 MHz; (2) establish technical guidelines and requirements for the offering of unlicensed service in such band to protect incumbent licensed services and licensees from harmful interference; and (3) require unlicensed devices operating in such band to comply with existing certification processes.


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