Political conventions offered as test site for unlicensed devices

July 28, 2008

The company coordinating the use of wireless microphones at the Democratic Convention in Denver and the Republican Convention in Minneapolis this summer has offered the FCC a chance to test white space technology for unlicensed mobile devices at the two venues.

In a letter last week to FCC chairman Kevin Martin, Louis Libin, president of Broad Comm and chairman of the Political Conventions Communications Committee, offered to test microphones in the convention venues before the actual proceedings begin.

His company, Broad Comm, has been employed by both the Democratic and Republican parties to coordinate wireless microphones for news coverage of the events. “Due to potential interference concerns, we could not conduct the experiment during key convention times,” he wrote. Yet, he said, it “would provide a real experiment during an event that employs hundreds of wireless microphones and frequencies.”

The FCC has already chosen 10 test sites around the Washington, D.C., area. It also plans tests in sports and entertainment venues not yet named. No response was given yet to the Broad Comm offer.

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