Taking on ill-advised white space initiative


A high-powered group of groups is getting set to head off efforts to open up spectrum between the cracks in the television band for unlicensed devices. Industry executives are wondering why an experimental land rush would be attempted right before the high-stakes conversion to digital television broadcasting that already has legislators and regulators on edge. Spearheaded by NAB President/CEO David Rehr, the effort also includes David Donovan, President, MSTV; John Taylor, VP LG Electronics; Jeff Willis of ESPN Productions on behalf of the Sports Technology Alliance; Alan Frank, President, Post-Newsweek Stations and chairman, NAB Television Board; and Elizabeth Murphy Burns, President, Morgan Murphy Media and Chairman, MSTV. Details of a coordinated effort to head off this threat will be unveiled today.

Meanwhile, a group of Hispanic broadcasting companies fired off a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin on the same topic. "[W]e urge the FCC not to allow the wholesale introduction of untold numbers of personal and portable unlicensed devices in to the television band until it can be conclusively demonstrated that they will not interfere with broadcast operations."

TVBR/RBR observation: You’d think this would be a matter of simple common sense. Any discussion of this topic should be tabled until the successful completion of the DTV conversion is an established fact, and even then, the concept should be considered slowly, methodically and carefully.