In a move that could advance the spread of broadband internet service nationwide, the Federal Communications Commission voted Nov. 4 to open up unused, unlicensed portions of the television airwaves known as "white spaces" to deliver wireless broadband service to more Americans.

The vote is a big victory for public-interest groups and technology companies such as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., which say white spaces could be used to bring broadband internet access to rural America and other underserved parts of the country.

"White spaces are the blank pages on which we which we will write our broadband future," said Jonathan Adelstein,...

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