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White Space: Houston Megachurch Warns of Interference

Google, Microsoft and the rest of the white space boosters have taken aim at broadcasters and wireless mic users. Google co-founder Larry Page even called the tactics of his opponents “despicable” and said the FCC rigged its own tests.

LakewoodChurch and Joel Osteen Ministries, which packs in some 40,000 worshippers every Sunday, made a move onto Page’s enemies list Oct. 6 with a letter to the FCC warning that white space devices could suffer “immeasurable damage to our ability to minister”

Osteen, who says he was responsible for the technical aspects of the church for some 17 years, noted that “the FCC has been subject to a barrage of lobbying by those interested in selling new devices in these white spaces area [sic].”

The church’s weekly television audience tops 7 million, he said.

“From what I have read about the testing conducted by the FCC there is clearly no reliable technology that can protect wireless microphones from the interference that comes from new portable devices operating in the same or adjacent channels as wireless microphones,” Osteen wrote. “We have worked diligently to coordinate the use of the wireless microphone systems that we deploy in each of our services. Adding new electronic devices to the mix would make our audio programming and coordination virtually impossible.”

The FCC Office of Engineering and Technology is expected to report on its white space tests this fall.