Several big names in the technology space, including web giant Google, have started work on a database to track the location and availability of white spaces – the vacant buffer spectrum between television channels.

The White Spaces Database Group, which includes include Comsearch, Dell, Google, HP, Microsoft Corporation, Motorola, and NeuStar, is championing the right to deploy wireless services in these so called “white spaces”.

Late last year, US communications regulator the FCC published rules allowing “sophisticated wireless devices” to operate in broadcast TV spectrum on an unlicensed basis, where that spectrum is not actually used for commercial purposes. The proposal has met with strong opposition from the entertainment industry, with big name entertainers such as Dolly Parton, Neil Diamond and Guns n’ Roses, lobbying unsuccessfully against the opening up of white space spectrum as it is used by owners of wireless microphones, among other things.

The White Space group said it intends to establish data formats and protocols that are open and non-proprietary and will advocate that database administration be open and non-exclusive.

“As the Commission made clear in its ruling, a working white spaces database must be deployed in order for consumer devices to be available in the market. Before sending or receiving data, devices will be required to access this database to determine available channels in the vicinity. Combined with spectrum sensing technologies, use of a geo-location database will offer complete protection to licensed signals from harmful interference,” said Google.

“We don’t plan to become a database administrator ourselves, but do want to work with the FCC to make sure that a white spaces database gets up and running. We hope that this will unfold in a matter of months, not years,” the company added.