OET seeks comments on TV receive site waiver requests

The FCC Office of Engineering and Technology issued a public notice Dec. 28 seeking comment on requests from 17 parties for waivers of an FCC white space database rule that if granted would allow them to register in the database and thus be protected from interference from TV band devices.

Those requesting the waivers are LPTV stations and Multichannel Video Program Distributors (MVPD) with receive sites that are more than 49.7mi outside the protected contour of the TV stations.

To make it possible for white space devices to operate without causing harmful interference to TV band incumbents, the commission adopted rules requiring TV band devices to determine an available channel for operation by comparing their location to a database of channels in use by incumbents in the area.

TV stations are already protected from interference by TV bands devices within their protected contours. Thus, the rules only allow receive sites that are outside of the protected contour of the station being received to be registered in the TV bands database.

Initially, the commission limited registration of receive sites to those that are no more than 49.7mi outside the protected contour of the TV station being received, the expected maximum range of the DTV station. Later, the commission acknowledged that in some cases reception is possible beyond the 49.7mi distance from a station’s protected contour. As a result, the commission created a 90-day period to file waiver requests.

The FCC is looking for comments on whether to grant the requested waivers, as well as the accuracy of the data related to the waiver requests made public by the commission. The agency also wants comment on whether to allow intermittent registration from backup receive sites.

Comments are due Jan. 30 and reply comments are due Feb. 14.