FCC Meeting November 4, 2008 (White Spaces)

The FCC meeting that was supposed to start at 10 am (CST) actually started around 3:00. The video was shaky; the audio was not always clear to me.

I listened to the White Spaces discussion. It passed with only a single partial dissent. I am posting my notes asis. I wasn’t always clear on who was speaking because by the time we got to Commissioner notes, the video was gone and with blips in the audio I didn’t always get the names. (And I’m not yet geeky enough to recognize their voices.)

Eventually the archive and official notes will be psote on the FCC web site. Here are my notes:

OET presents the second report on TV white spaces:

White Spaces bring
•New and innovative wireless devices
• Advanced in technology will allow them to share spectrum with existing broadcasters
• For unlicensed broadcasters
• Wireless broadband access
• Allows for portable devices with geolocation tools

Rules rput in place:
• Appropriate safeguards to minimize conflicting technologies
• Fixed devices must be registered in database
• Wireless microphones could also be registered in database (and then could claim that channel)
• Need adaptive power control
• Devices must meet certification
o Public can test devices
o FCC decides on certification

Notes from Commissioner Copps

Power of technology to turn scarcity into abundance
Last round of testing went well. The testing happened over time. Initial testing said that both sides have a point. Spectrum sensing alone is not adequate; hence the need for evaluating on an ongoing basis.
Also Geolocation is a compromise. It with sensing should help keep channels separate. Also there are tools that will allow wiggle room and new broadcasters will need to turn off devices if they run into any problems.

Licensed and unlicensed regimes help consumers. It’s time to open up the market. The new technology has been called WiFi on steroids – and that’s the open especially for rural areas.

FCC Commissioner Adelstein

White spaces are the blank page of our broadband future.
Geolocation technology and the accompanying database will help safeguard new white space and current broadcasters.
This process was not as transparent as it should be which is unfortunate. One fear is that consumers have already purchased microphones that don’t meet new standards.

Commissioner Tate

American innovation is great – and white spaces is one tool for new innovation. This item should help broadband in rural areas. Precludes licensed services and that’s not great. Also there’s not a great way to offer feedback – but otherwise good.
It’s important that all devices are tested!
It’s too bad that there is not official language on liability of anyone not adhering to standards, especially to the tune of causing trouble for others.
Higher power fixed transmitter in rural areas – should have looked into this but we lost the chance here.

We need to have a process to deal with interference.

New Commissioner

This deregulation should open the door to innovation and entrepreneurship. It would even improve our safety.

Rural areas have more unused white spaces so it may be most beneficial there. But we’ll need to have backhauls from rural areas to the broadband backbone.

New Commissioner

The white spaces are incredibly valuable – we saw that with the 700 Mhz Spectrum auction last summer. This has the potential to improve access to everyone.

This entry was posted in FCC, Policy, Rural, Wireless by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

1 thought on “FCC Meeting November 4, 2008 (White Spaces)

  1. Pingback: Delayed DTV impact on White Spaces « Blandin on Broadband

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