NAB calls for public comment on white space report

October 17, 2008

The NAB raised questions Oct. 16 over apparent discrepancies between the results of recent FCC tests of prototype white space devices presented in a report this week and an “upbeat endorsement” of letting such devices into the band in the document’s executive summary.

"It would appear that the FCC is misinterpreting the actual data collected by their own engineers," said NAB Executive VP Dennis Wharton. "Any reasonable analysis of the OET report would conclude that unlicensed devices that rely solely on spectrum sensing threaten the viability of clear TV reception.”

The 149-page report details the results of tests conducted by the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology this year of five prototype white space devices. One of its major finds is that strong DTV signals on adjacent channels significantly diminish the ability of the prototypes to detect the presence of TV and wireless mic signals.

NAB pointed to other negative findings, including:

· malfunctioning of a prototype from Microsoft
· wild fluctuations in the ability of the prototypes to sense the presence of TV signals
· the inability to accurately determine which wireless mic channels were in use

In the statement, the NAB called on the commission to seek public comment on the report before moving forward. "With the transition to digital television looming and tens of millions of TV viewers at risk, the stakes are too high for this proposal to be rammed through without thoughtful deliberation," Wharton said.

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