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OET designates Microsoft as TV white space database administrator

The FCC has designated Microsoft as a TV bands database administrator to develop databases of TV band users to assist fixed and personal portable unlicensed TV band devices — so-called white space devices — to find unused channels for operation in TV spectrum.

Microsoft is the tenth party to be approved to develop a database that will make it possible for unlicensed white space devices to come to market. The role of the database will be to calculate and communicated to white space devices available TV channels in the locale of the device to be used.

In designating Microsoft as a database administrator, the head of the Office of Engineering and Technology said the company "has shown that it has the technical expertise to develop and operate a TV bands database."

The OET was not persuaded by arguments against Microsoft made by the Engineers for the Integrity of Broadcast Auxiliary Services Spectrum (EIBASS), the order said. In its comments, EIBASS raised a variety of issues with the commission designating Microsoft as a database administrator that it said demonstrated the company lacks awareness of regulations required to perform that role.

Once Microsoft has created its database it will be subject to a trial of not less than 45 days before it can be made available to unlicensed white space devices. A longer trial may be needed if the database is shown not to comply with commission rules. Once Microsoft has satisfied all of the commission's conditions it will be allowed to make the database available for use for a five-year period.