NAB warns Congress of spectrum interlopers


Why not open the cracks between television stations to unlicensed spectrum devices? The National Association of Broadcasters and the Association for Maximum Service Television are sending a video to Capitol Hill graphically demonstrating the effects of interference to digital broadcast reception when unlicensed devices fail to protect the signal. The main point of the video is clearly stated: "Despite what some high tech companies might tell you, this is what you can expect if unlicensed mobile devices are allowed to operate in the TV spectrum without adequate protections. These devices can’t sense when spectrum is in use — and we can’t risk uncontrollable TV interference."

Professional and collegiate sports leagues, religious groups, theater groups all use wireless microphones and may also be subject to harmful interference from unlicensed wireless devices and are also vigorously opposing their introduction into the marketplace.

High tech companies are pushing for the devices. The most frequently cited reason is to propagate wireless broadband. However, in order to operate safely, they must be able to detect when a frequency is in use, and in recent FCC tests prototypes failed to make the grade.

The NAB video is available here:

RBR/TVBR observation: We have always been stunned that plans to monkey around with television spectrum were even under consideration while in the midst of the most difficult paradigm shift in the history of US communications. The best news regarding white space devices is that the inability of the proponents of the idea to put out a working device should at the very least move a final decision to some point well after 2/17/09.