MSTV, NAB object to QUALCOMM request of declaratory ruling

The telecommunication provider’s petition asked that 700MHz entrants be allowed to create up to two percent new interference to free OTA, something the associations argue would be harmful and improper
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A petition from telecommunication provider QUALCOMM asking the commission to allow it and other 700MHz entrants the right to create up to two percent new interference to television service does not serve the public interest and potentially would result in the loss of free over-the-air TV, according to a joint FCC filing from the National Association of Broadcasters and the Association for Maximum Service Television.

The trade associations filed an informal objection to the petition contending that apart from direct harm to television transmission, “such interference would be particularly disruptive to the public’s acceptance of DTV technology” and contravene Congress’s expectation that the FCC help to bring about a successful conclusion to the transition from analog to digital television service.

QUALCOMM’s request for the commission to issue a Declaratory Ruling on the matter should be denied, and if the matter is to be considered it should be treated as a Petition for Rulemaking. According to the NAB and MSTV, a rulemaking petition would provide a mechanism by which the impact of such a rule change could be fully considered.

The associations’ filing argued that the Petition for Declaratory Ruling isn’t the right administrative vehicle to change Section 27.60 to allow two percent new interference to television service. The section prohibits 700MHz entrants from creating any new interference to viewers of free OTA TV. Amending that standard can only be done through notice-and-comment rulemaking. MSTV and NAB pointed out that in past unique instances when the commission allowed broadcast-to-broadcast interference the net result was a growth in access to OTA television, not a reduction in access to free TV transmission.

The trade associations also objected to QUALCOMM’s request to use OET-69 methodology to show that 700MHz entrants are compliant with TV interference protection standards and that “such analyses be allowed for entrants operating within an adjacent station’s licensed service contour.” In the filing, the NAB and MSTV argued that OET-69 was developed specifically to measure DTV-to-DTV interference and that amending Section 27.60 outside without a rulemaking and comment procedure is improper.

To read the filing, visit www.nab.org/newsroom/pressrel/filings/QualcommComms31005.pdf.

To read an engineering statement on the use of OET-69 as an alternative to Section 27.60 from engineering consulting firm Cohen, Dippell and Everist, visit www.nab.org/newsroom/pressrel/filings/QualcommEngState31005.pdf.

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