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This article presents the latest developments in regulatory status and standardization initiatives in the field of TV white space cognitive communication systems. Updates on recent movements of regulatory bodies such as the U.S. FCC, U.K. OFCOM, European CEPT, Japanese MIC, and Singapore IDA in TV white space communications are first presented. The response of the industrial community toward these new regulations is then discussed, focusing on the activities in the IEEE 802 standards association. The latest developments of IEEE 802.11, 802.22, 802.15, 802.19, and DySPAN SC are described. Considerations on system design including PHY/MAC layer design in these standards are then listed and discussed. Lastly, potential usage models of cognitive communications in TV white spaces are presented, with emphasis on required parameters as guiding references to corresponding system design.