White space pushback continues


They’re tripping over one another to either attack the FCC’s possible opening of a Pandora’s box full of unlicensed white space devices, or at the very least asking the FCC for an opportunity to study and comment on the plan. Saddleback Church Senior Pastor Rick Warren, Dolly Parton,  a consortium of public interest groups and the RTNDA.

"Reports have shown the poor results obtained from testing these devices," Pastor Warren wrote. "I urge the FCC not to authorize new unlicensed wireless devices that will definitely interfere with our ability to conduct services." His remarks echoed those of another well-known large-venue paster, Joel Osteen.

Parton’s concerns echo those of all citizens engaged in the business of entertaining the public. "The public might assume the Commission recognizes the significant controversy its vote will generate and is therefore making all efforts to divert media attention away from its decision," Ms. Parton asserted, noting the vote was scheduled on election day. "Assuming the Commission believes its plan is truly fair and adequately accomodates the needs of all wireless users, interested parties have the right to absolute government transparency."

The public advocates include Government Accountability Project, Media Freedom Project, Americans for Tax Reform and the Liberty Coalition. In part, they are concerned that the American taxpayers may be missing out on a nice payday if these frequencies are just tossed out to the four winds rather than auctioned off. They are also concerned about the lack of opportunity for public comment.

RTNDA is concerned about the effect the devices may have on electronic newsgathering. “The most stringent testing standards must be placed on these unlicensed devices before adopting rules permitting their use,” wrote RTNDA President Barbara Cochran. “Anything less will not safeguard licensed uses of this spectrum to serve the public interest.”