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You don’t have to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate. – Religiosity

U.S. broadcasters, which are given spectrum between 54MHz to 700 MHz free (for “public service”), have now conscripted a variety of Congressional leaders to stop “white spaces” legislation that would allow internet access on the unused television frequencies. The NAB says “white spaces” access points would destroy DTV television as we know it.

According to the NAB’s filing:


“Whether a white spaces proponent is motivated by the goal of destroying television or is just indifferent to the consequences that flow from embracing sensing technologies that have failed and from an adjacent-channel power limit (40mW) that would destroy service, the result is the same,” the filing continued.

The National Association of Broadcasters has found congressional leaders and sports leagues willing to join them in asking for a delay. The NAB says white space access points will produce harmful interference.

The Sports Technology Alliance, a trade group that formed last year and represents eight major sports organizations and broadcasters, has been opposed to a push by Microsoft, Google, Dell and other tech vendors to allow new broadband devices to use the so-called white spaces.

White space advocates from The Wireless Innovation Alliance, with backing from Google, Microsoft and Motorola, want to freetheairwaves for internet access.

Motorola, a backer of the White Space proposal, said:


Over more that 4 years of debate the Commission has considered all aspects of the technology necessary to allow use of the TV White Space while fully protecting incumbents. Based on this careful deliberation, including extensive testing of devices, the Chairman has put forward a plan that allows the TV White Space effort to move forward responsibly. The time is right to provide a clear path for fixed and mobile broadband deployment using geolocation enabled technology.

The technology has support from the broadcast community and was proven to provide highly reliable protection in the Commission’s testing. In addition, providing flexibility for sensing-only devices pursuant to additional testing to ensure that commercial products can fully protect incumbents makes sense. Motorola supports the Commission moving forward on this well balanced proposal.

Bill Gates entered the campaign personally, speaking by telephone with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and Commissioner Michael Copps. Gates commended the FCC for its work in the white spaces proceeding, and for seeking to adopt final white space rules at its November 4th meeting (pdf filing).

“Mr. Gates observed that adopting the flexible operating rules advocated by the White Spaces Coalition is essential in enabling white space devices that will provide affordable broadband opportunities and create new markets for innovative applications and services,” The FCC listed the white space devices order on the agenda for its Nov. 4 open meeting.

The FCC released their report (pdf summary and full report) earlier this month.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said earlier this month that he will support allowing conditional unlicensed use of the so-called “white spaces” television spectrum.

Martin said portable devices must have sensing technologies as well as a geo-location database. This would make sure the devices would be able to detect nearby broadcasts in order to avoid those frequencies.

The top part of the dial — from UHF Channel 52-69 was just auctioned off by the FCC for nearly $20 billion dollars. But the bottom part of the television dial is now a largely unused resource.

The Wireless Innovation Alliance says the NAB “has consistently opposed every bit of new technology offering new media options to consumers.

Public Knowledge reviews the NAB/MSTV physics lesson:

  • High-power signals from political allies don’t interfere, but low power signals for poor people and competitors do interfere.
  • Megachurches at five times the power don’t interfere, but wifi in isolated Appalachian communities does interfere.
  • Broadway can use high-power wireless microphones in the white spaces without any interference mitigation technology, but move it uptown to Harlem and it causes interference no matter how “smart” we make the devices.

Related White Space articles on Dailywireless include; Google Launches White Space Offensive, Motorola on Whites Spaces: We’re Good, White Space Field Testing, Google Pitches White Spaces, White Spaces: Now It’s GE, CTIA: Unlicensed White Spaces Bad, 700 MHz Resurrected in White Space, White Space War Continues, White Spaces Prototype: Dead Again, Sprint and T-Mobile Support “White Space” Use and White Space Gets Hot.

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