White space tests at NFL game called failure


The Sports Video Group says that tests conducted by the FCC over the weekend at a preseason NFL football game between the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins proved that the technology to operate unlicensed devices in the spaces between television stations isn’t there yet.

"Simply stated, the prototype devices were unable to consistently identify operating wireless microphones or distinguish occupied from unoccupied TV channels,” said Mark Brunner of Shure. “The devices also failed to detect the presence of wireless microphones when switched on an occurrence that takes place multiple times during any NFL game. Given the poor performance of these sensing devices, there is no reason to believe that the other proposed protections, such as beacons, will be any more capable of providing reliable and robust interference protection to wireless microphone transmissions."

Meanwhile, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair John Dingell (D-MI) last week urged the FCC to consider a licensed approach to getting full use of the spectrum in the television band. Dingell praised the FCC’s go-slow approach. He noted the value and potential of the white spaces, and suggested that the FCC strongly consider “proposals to license some or all of the available spectrum.” That would put the spectrum in use while guarding against interference to incumbent users.