Mobile Video Group Opposes Use of White Spaces

A group of broadcasters representing hundreds of commercial and public television stations told the FCC this week that allowing the use of white spaces in the DTV spectrum for unlicensed devices could jeopardize the rollout of new over-the-air mobile video services.
Author:
Publish date:

A group of broadcasters representing hundreds of commercial and public television stations told the FCC this week that allowing the use of white spaces in the DTV spectrum for unlicensed devices could jeopardize the rollout of new over-the-air mobile video services.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, the Open Mobile Video Coalition touted the benefits of over-the-air mobile video and urged Martin to impose certain conditions on the use of white spaces. The FCC is considering opening certain parts of the broadcast spectrum for new wireless applications, a move that broadcasters warn could cause interference with DTV signals. The group, which includes Fox Television Station Group, NBC Universal, Belo and the Association of Public Television Stations, among others, cited recent FCC tests that showed that unlicensed devices were incapable of detecting broadcast signals at certain thresholds.

“Recent FCC tests have shown that so-called ‘sensing’ mechanisms in unlicensed devices are ineffective in mitigating interference to digital broadcast television,” the OMV told the commission. “Moreover, these test results do not cover the issue of interference from unlicensed devices to the public’s use of mobile broadcast receivers, which will be particularly susceptible to interference of this kind.”

The group warned that allowing the use of white spaces could “put the U.S. at a disadvantage to other developed countries,” and recommended that the FCC include interference to mobile television receivers in its white space testing regime. It also advised the commission to prevent the use of unlicensed devices in the DTV spectrum “unless there is fully effective protection against interference to the mobile broadcast service from mobile devices.”