Not only is white space on the agenda


At least one FCC commissioner thinks Chairman Kevin Martin’s on white space devices (WSDs) will not only be approved, it may well draw a unanimous 5-0 vote. The commissioner is Republican Robert McDowell, who said he’s optimistic the item will pass. Meanwhile, NAB’s David Rehr underscored that his organization does not oppose putting the spectrum to use, if it is done so safely. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was among legislators and groups calling for more careful consideration of the proposal.

McDowell thinks that forcing WSDs to get an FCC seal of approval is safeguard enough, and is interested in seeing what uses entrepreneurs can come up with for the spectrum.

Rehr argued for a more controlled approach, saying, "Broadcasters again want to emphasize that we do not oppose the use of vacant channels in the television broadcast bands. We support the concept of geolocation in combination with an accurate database as a method of avoiding interference with television broadcasts and wireless microphones. However, spectrum sensing alone, as the data within the OET report actually show, does not provide adequate interference protection.”

Clinton wrote, "Given the indispensable role that wireless technologies have for New York’s industries — whether they are wireless microphones for our Broadway performers or for the players and coaches of the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Super Bowl Champion New York Giants — I believe that these interference questions should be addressed first." Her sentiments were echoed by fellow senators Michael Enzi (R-WY), John Barrasso (R-WY) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA); and from the House side by Charlie Rangel (D-NY).

A group of 28 representatives signed a letter which claimed the 33% failure rate spectrum sensing devices was ample reason to slow down the process. The MGM Mirage Hotel, the Recording Academy and the National Grange also weighed in with requests for a more careful review process.