NAB, MSTV ask FCC to protect DTV transmission from devices

February 1, 2007

The NAB and Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) told the FCC in comments filed yesterday that allowing “low-power” TV band devices is “an unprecedented spectrum sharing proposal” that must be properly tested so as not to jeopardize the DTV transition.

The joint NAB-MSTV comments filed in response to the FCC’s white space proceedings cautioned the commission that the billions spent on the DTV transition by broadcaster and consumers as well as the $1.5 billion in government funds for the digital-to-analog converter box program “will be wasted” if digital TV sets receive interference from these devices.

Proponents in government as well as the high-tech industry seek to modify FCC rules to allow such TV band devices to operate on TV channels not used by broadcasters for their DTV transmission. The often-cited reason is to bring wireless broadband service to unserved areas in rural portions of the country.

The filing made eight recommendations for the FCC to follow as it proceeds.

Among the specific points raised, the associations asked the commission to only permit such devices to “operate outside the protected contour on both co- and adjacent channels.” In no case should they be allowed to operate inside a station’s contour on co-channel or first adjacent channels, the associations said.

Additionally, the MSTV and NAB asked the commission to prevent any TV band device from operating before the DTV transition. After that point, only fixed operation TV band devices should be allowed, and personal or portable operations should be disallowed.

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