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NAB Urges FCC to Act on White Space Geolocation

WASHINGTON—How about ruling on white-space device geolocation already, the broadcast lobby told regulators recently. Representatives from the National Association of Broadcasters met with staff members of the Federal Communications Commission to discuss the operation of unlicensed devices on unoccupied TV channels, referred to in this case as “white spaces.”

“The commission should either adopt and enforce effective rules that will allow TVWS devices to coexist with licensed operations, or it should eliminate or suspend TVWS operations,” the NAB said in an ex parte filing documenting the Nov. 16 meeting between the NAB team and commission staff.

The problem, according to the NAB, is that the FCC’s database system for keeping track of white-space devices doesn’t work, so in the event these devices cause interference to TV signals, broadcasters won’t be able to track them down. The extent of the problem was such that in March of 2015, the NAB petitioned the commission to shut down the database system because, “at various points, more than one-third of fixed TV band devices in the database contained patently inaccurate location information, including multiple devices registered in the middle of empty fields, or to a single family home, and some even registered in foreign countries,” the NAB petition said.

NAB thought the issue was hashed out in July of 2015, when it struck up an agreement with white-space device makers to incorporate automatic geolocation in the devices. (See “NAB and White Space Device Makers Agree on Geolocation,” July 22, 2015) The commission responded seven months later with an Order to clean up the databases rather than shut them down, and an accompanying Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the integration of geolocation technology.

Since then, le crickets.

“Nearly nine months have passed since the released of that NPRM, yet commission staff have told NAB they do not believe an order will be forthcoming until the next administration,” the NAB’s recent ex parte filingstated.

Further, a previous amendment requiring updated channel availability information to be pushed to white-space devices as of Sept. 23, 2016, is a paper tiger, the NAB said.

“There are currently no industry standards for implementing the push notification requirement and, to NAB’s knowledge, TVWS database administrators and TVWS device manufacturers have taken no steps to comply with this requirement,” the ex parte filingstated.

If the commission hasn’t acted because so few white-space devices have been deployed, then it should scrap them altogether, the NAB folks suggested.

Also see TV Technology’s previous coverage of white-space devices…

July 22, 2015
NAB and White Space Device Makers Agree on Geolocation

May 4, 2015

NAB to FCC: TV Licensees Should Trump White Space Devices

March 19, 2015

NAB Petitions FCC to Shut Down White Space Database

March 19, 2015

Google White Space Database Registered Fixed Devices

January 15, 2014

FCC Certifies Carlson Wireless TV White Space Radio

November 14, 2013

FCC Certifies Adaptrum Technology With Google TV White Space Database

September 16, 2013

FCC Grants Adjacent-Channel Waiver for Meld White Space Device

March 4, 2013

White Space Databases Go Live Nationwide

January 23, 2013

Tokyo Group Unveils Regional TV White Space Prototype

December 6, 2012

White Space Databases to Go Live Next Month

October 18, 2012

White Space Wi-Fi Draft Standard Prototype Developed

June 4, 2012

Theater and Sports Groups Drop Request for White Space Rules Review

May 3, 2012

NAB Drops Court Challenge of White Spaces

March 27, 2012

Telcordia Gets Cleared to Manage White Spaces

February 29, 2012

Key Bridge Launches Preliminary White Space Portal

November 24, 2008

White Spaces Deal is Done

January 31, 2012

White Spaces: Telcordia Says It Can Find Them

December 5, 2011

FCC To Commence Second White Space Database Trial Wednesday

November 10, 2011

FCC Seeks Comment on Spectrum Bridge White Space Trial

September 14, 2011

Spectrum Bridge Is First of 10 To Test White Space Database

July 27, 2011

IEEE Publishes White Space Standard for Broadband

June 29, 2011

Microsoft White Space Partner Neul Raises $12.8 Million

June 27, 2011

Microsoft Angles for Lighter U.S. White Space Rules with U.K. Trial

June 22, 2011

Microsoft Nudges FCC to Wrap White Spaces

May 2, 2011

Microsoft Wants to Manage TV White Spaces

January 27, 2011

TV White Space Database Managers Named

December 6, 2010

White Space Rules Go Into Effect Jan. 5, 2011

September 27, 2010


September 27, 2010

Nine Vie to Manage White Space Database

September 23, 2010

FCC Eliminates Spectrum Sensing for White Space Devices

September 16, 2010

Carlin Could Curse in TV White Spaces

September 15, 2010
Ohio Hospital Launches White Space Broadband Trial

September 8, 2010

FCC to Issue Second White Spaces Order

August 18, 2010

Broadcasters Urge FCC to Retain White Space Spectrum-Sensing Requirement

August 2, 2010

FCC Denies MSTV’s Request for White Spaces Documents

June 23, 2010

Google Supports White Space Smart Grid Trial

April 22, 2010

Wireless Group Asks FCC to Relax White Space Rules

April 21, 2010

Input Sought for White Spaces Book

March 26, 2010

TV White Space Experimental Licenses Granted

February 24, 2010

Wilmington Tests WiFi in White Spaces

January 4, 2010

White Space Database Manager Proposals Due

November 18, 2009

British Regulator Open White Spaces

October 22, 2009

Virginia Town Exemplifies White Space Usage

October 12, 2009

FCC Grants Microsoft White Space Licenses

March 3, 2009

Broadcasters Asks Court to Nix FCC White Space Order

February 23, 2009

White Space Locater Launched