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Dingell Writes FCC on White Spaces Proposal

A key lawmaker today called on the Federal Communications Commission to respond to questions about the agency's proposed order to use television "white spaces" for unlicensed broadband wireless services.

Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, wrote a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin asking that the agency identify any devices that are causing interference on those bands. Dingell, who favors the licensing of some of that spectrum, said: "The public interest requires a more detailed and careful analysis when permitting unlicensed devices to operate in the broadcast television band."

Dingell's letter came amid a torrent of lobbying this week from corporate giants like Microsoft and Google who have pushed for unlicensed use of the spectrum. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates lobbied for the order with Martin earlier this week. The National Association of Broadcasters has rejected the proposal saying there needs to be more comment and time and analysis of engineering tests for interference issues on the bands with unlicensed devices.

The order is up for vote at the FCC's Nov. 4 meeting.

By Cecilia Kang  |  October 24, 2008; 6:00 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
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As it stands, any transmission in the unused TV channels will cause a lot of interference to wireless microphones and stage manager intercom systems. The current TV and FM channel assignments were devised many years ago to avoid signals stepping on each other. In any given market, no two channels are adjacent, alternate channels are used. Thus we have 2,4,5,7,9,11 and 13 here in Los Angeles. In San Diego we have 6, 8, 10 and 12. (BTW,4 and 5 are separated). The so-called white spaces are actually buffer zones between channels. With the advent of digital TV next year, it may be possible to use every channel, but on-the-air testing so far has proved that digital TV is not ready for prime time.

Posted by: isenberg888 | October 28, 2008 6:05 PM

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