03.22.2011 03:00 PM
NAB Chief Urges Lawmakers to Look at Wireless Receiver Standards

WASHINGTON: The chief broadcast lobbyist dropped a note to lawmakers today suggesting they look at the consumer electronics industry for spectrum. Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, wrote to the Senate and House Commerce Committee leadership, suggesting they take up receiver performance standards.

“While reallocating airwaves to wireless carriers may accomplish some goals, technological improvements can and should be utilized by current wireless licensees to ensure the most efficient use of spectrum,” Smith wrote to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)

Smith cited a piece in Comm Daily in which the current and former chief of the Federal Communications Commission Office of Engineering and Technology were quoted acknowledging the necessity of addressing receiver performance in facilitating spectrum efficiency. He noted that RF interference is often related to poor receiver performance and their ability to reject undesired signals.

“Poor RF performance quality of wireless receivers thus can contribute to a capacity crunch for wireless services just as significantly as inadequate spectrum supply,” he said.

Smith’s tact coincides with another by the wireless industry to have TV stations cleared from Ch. 51. (See “Wireless Lobbies Ask FCC to Clear TV From Ch. 51) The CTIA--The Wireless Association and the Rural Cellular Association filed a petition with the FCC recently to freeze new licenses on the frequency and eventually to work on clearing it. The wireless lobbies claim TV operations in Ch. 51, the top of the TV band, interfere with wireless receivers functioning in Ch. 52. Broadcasters relinquished Chs. 52-69 in the digital transition. The spectrum auctioned off to wireless providers.

The FCC has not yet acted on the petition.

-- Deborah D. McAdams

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