Already squatters in TV white spaces?


A coalition of consumer watchdogs known as the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition is trying to clean up the spectrum between television stations before the DTV transition takes place, and in advance of FCC action of making that same spectrum available to provide broadband and other services to unlicensed devices. The problem? An untold number of clergy, theaters, DJs and others are already using the spectrum for high-end wireless microphones, according to an Associated Press report. Broadcasters and athletic teams are among those who do have authorization to operate in these frequencies, but while the total number with licenses is under a thousand, there may be millions operating in potential interference zones who aren’t even aware licenses may be required. The watchdogs are protesting the marketing practices of wireless mic manufacturers, who fail to make this clear before selling their wares. The FCC says it is aware of the problem but that thus far there have been few complaints. An attorney at watchdog Media Access Project, on the other hand, says this “elephant in the room” will have to be addressed, sooner rather than later.