12/05/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

FCC Approves "Wi-Fi On Steroid:" Good News For Consumers, Bad News For Telcos

As anticipated, the FCC has voted to approve the use of wireless airwaves between TV channels -- so-called "white spaces" -- for Internet devices.

The ruling is a victory for companies like Google (GOOG), Motorola (MOT), and Microsoft (MSFT), who want to be able to access the airwaves for Internet gadgets and services. Even better: They'll be able to do so on an "unlicensed" basis, meaning they won't have to spend money on wireless spectrum licenses -- like the wireless industry spent $19 billion on this year.

"Today, the FCC is making both a small step and a giant leap," FCC commissioner Robert McDowell reportedly said. "It is a prudent and cautious order."

And a paraphrase of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's remarks, from journalist Drew Clark, who's been tweeting the meeting:

Read more on Silicon Alley Insider