FCC approves rules allowing white-space devices
Change will allow broadband devices to operate in unused TV spectrum
IDG News Service - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted Tuesday to approve rules that would allow new broadband devices to operate in unused television spectrum.
The FCC voted on the rules governing the operation of new devices in the so-called spectrum white spaces over the objections of television broadcasters, wireless microphone makers, several sports leagues, and dozens of performing artists and U.S. lawmakers. The vote will allow more broadband competition in the U.S., with wireless devices competing with providers of cable broadband and DSL/fiber-based broadband, said Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein.
"Today’s decision is consequential to our nation’s future because wireless broadband has the potential to improve our economy and quality of life in even the remotest areas," Adelstein said. "One of the best options for promoting broadband and competition across the country, particularly in rural areas, is maximizing the potential of spectrum-based services."
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) had run a hard-fought campaign against the white-space proposal, saying two rounds of extensive testing by the FCC failed to prove that prototype broadband devices would avoid interfering with TV stations on neighboring channels.
The NAB promised to continue to fight against potential interference with TV stations. "While we appreciate the FCC's attempt to address significant issues raised by broadcasters and others, every American who values interference-free TV should be concerned by today's commission vote," said Dennis Wharton, NAB's executive vice president. "By moving the white-space vote forward, the commission appears to have bypassed meaningful public or peer review in a proceeding of grave importance to the future of television."
The white spaces are empty channels on spectrum designated for use by television stations, but wireless microphones also broadcast on the spectrum without FCC licenses. All U.S. television markets have some white-space spectrum, and several tech companies and public interest groups have pushed the FCC to approve white-space devices in recent years.
The FCC agreed on some restrictions on white-space devices, which could be on the market in the next two years. In most cases, devices will have to include geolocation technology, which uses technologies such as GPS to match a white-space device's location against a preexisting database of spectrum users. In FCC tests this year, devices using spectrum-sensing technology, a real-time effort to sense existing spectrum users, encountered several problems, but a Motorola prototype device using geolocation correctly found all occupied channels, the FCC said.
Wireless microphone vendors, including Shure Inc., had also objected to white-space devices on interference grounds. But the FCC said microphone makers would be protected because facilities using wireless mics will be able to register with the geolocation database.
White space OKed
- FCC, Google tag team for 'white spaces'
- Dell to offer 'white space' connectivity in laptops
- Tech groups applaud FCC white spaces vote
- IT Blogwatch: Votes are in, and white space wins
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Big vote -- FCC approves white-space broadband
- FCC approves rules allowing white-space devices
- Virtually Delivered High Performance 3D Graphics "A picture is worth a thousand words." That old phrase is as true today as it ever was. Pictures (i.e., those with heavy...
- Who does NSS Labs "Recommend" for NGFW? In 2012, NSS Labs found that most available NGFW solutions "fell short in performance and security effectiveness." In 2013 NSS Labs noted "marked...
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Improving Business Value of WAN Optimization Want to achieve faster ROI with WAN optimization? Read the latest IDC report and discover how you can cut IT costs without compromising...
- Live Webcast IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency... All Networking White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!