NAB/MSTV try to keep spectrum clean


Major television trade associations are worried about the introduction of unlicensed spectrum devices into the band used by broadcast television stations, particularly in the face of the transition to digital-only broadcast. NAB's David Rehr and MSTV's David Donovan are trying to head off any rash moves in this arena. They fired off a joint letter to NTIA's John Kneuer and Ambassador Richard Russell, who represents the USA at the World Administrative Radio Conference.

The concern is the potential for harmful interference with television signals. "An analysis of recent data released by the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology revealed that a low powered unlicensed device operating on a so-called vacant adjacent channel that is next to an operating TV channel would result in interference in 80%-87% of a television station's service area," they wrote. "This interference would occur if an unlicensed device operates within 10 to 100 meters of a digital television set." They added that same channel devices could disrupt signals for miles. Nor would the interfering entities be traceable, since they would be unlicensed. They concluded that "it would be a monumental mistake to allow portable unlicensed devices into broadcast spectrum before the transition was allowed to flourish and succeed."

SmartMedia observation: With all the worries expressed by politicians about pulling off the DTV transition at all, it is unfathomable that anybody would consider putting it at risk for an ill-defined experiment in first-come, first-served spectrum grabbing. White space projects need to be moved back until we make sure the spectrum incumbents are able to operate safely.