The up and coming auction for the 700MHz spectrum has been an interesting beast to watch, with the most recent development the FCC laying out the auction rules
. On a very similar note, currently unused portions of TV broadcast space have become a target for companies looking to develop products, particularly Internet devices (such as wireless hardware for IP communication).
Many companies are already manufacturing products that will capitalize on opened frequency. For instance, Microsoft, Google, Dell, HP, Philips and other companies have all been jointly working on manufacturing a radio
for Internet use that makes up this unused spectrum. Their prototype, which was presented to the FCC, had its design rejected. More specifically, the device was cited to have a large potential for interference:
The Federal Communications Commission on July 31 said the devices submitted by the technology coalition could not reliably detect unused TV spectrum, and could also cause interference.
While this might be bad news for them, it's actually good news all around. This demonstrates that many companies are already gearing up to manufacture hardware to use this spectrum, giving us some early promises of wide vendor support for what will be an emerging technology. Protests from TV broadcasters and early issues aside, the earlier development begins the longer these companies will have to make reliable products.
I hope to see more of this is the near future. All the companies mentioned have stated they will work with the FCC to “resolve” issues.