06.25.2007 10:00 AM
Broadcasters continue to fight white space usage

The National Association of Broadcasters and Association for Maximum Service Television continue to lobby members of Congress with a warning that allowing use of the DTV spectrum for portable electronic devices could disrupt digital broadcasting.

Last week, the lobby groups sent letters to each member of Congress asking them to oppose the goal of a coalition of computer and electronic companies that are pushing for shared use of the spectrum with broadcasters.

Those companies, aligned as the White Spaces Coalition (WSC), want to make use of white space between television channels in the spectrum to offer wireless broadband services. The companies include Microsoft, Google, Dell, HP, Intel, Philips, Earthlink and Samsung.

“Opening up the digital broadcast spectrum to portable unlicensed devices as the White Spaces Coalition is proposing, however, would turn the DTV transition on its head,” the groups wrote. “The Coalition wants to allow millions of transmitting devices to operate on television frequencies, without a license.”

The FCC is currently testing technology that the companies say will prevent any broadcast interference. Results of those tests are not yet known.

“Because of significant interference concerns with consumer’s new digital television sets, on behalf of the television station membership of our joint organizations, we are writing to ask that you oppose opening the broadcast spectrum to portable unlicensed devices, such as wireless laptops, PDAs and remote-controlled devices,” the groups wrote.

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