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RF Shorts – Aug. 18, 2011

Dingell 'Deeply Disturbed' by FCC Response to Spectrum Inquiries
Brendan Sasso has a good review of Representative Dingell's exchange with FCC Chairman Genachowski over the FCC's plans for incentive auctions of broadcast TV spectrum in his Hillicon Valley technology blog at Dingell wrote, "By keeping this information from Congress, you force me to conclude that you in fact are concealing from Congress the true nature and consequences of future agency actions." I covered John Dingell's HR 2482 in House Bill Would Limit Spectrum Incentive Auction Plan.

More Stories from the Canadian DTV Transition
Vito Pillieci writes in the Ottawa Citizen article Brave New Digital World, "Decades ago, people raced to trade their TV antennas for cable boxes. As of Aug. 31, the nationwide switch to over-the-air digital broadcasts could herald a renaissance for rabbit ears." Another writer also sees the Rebirth of Television. Financial Post writer Jamie Sturgeon describes the transition as an opportunity for cable TV companies, but cautions they may not see as much of an impact as expected. One difference that could lead more viewers to convert to cable is that DTV converter boxes are not being subsidized, as they were in the U.S.

FCC Sets Deadline for 2011 Regulatory Fee Payments
Wednesday the FCC issued three Public Notices regarding FY2011 Regulatory fees – Payment Procedures, Fees Due No Later Than September 14, 2011, ET, and Fee Filer Mandatory. VHF stations still pay more. See Vs Penalized in New Regulatory Fee Structure.

Listen to Meteors
Ham radio operators and remote sensing sites have bounced signals off of meteor trails for long distance communications on VHF and UHF for decades. A TV weather radars picked up meteors as they got closer to the ground outside Cleveland earlier this month. Thanks to web site you can now listen to echoes on-line without a receiver! The site's radio observatory uses the Air Force Space Surveillance signal on 216.98 MHz.

Apple Patents Clip Antenna
Jake Zarobsky has a good overview of three new Apple patents in his article New Apple patents surface, detail 3 new inventions. One of the interesting patents is an antenna in an iPod Nano/Shuffle clip, allowing an improved radio signal on the iPod Nano.

Dish Planning Move into Wireless Broadband?
I've found to be an excellent source of news on the wireless industry and wireless spectrum. Peter White published an article last, week Dish smugly talks about plans to take on US cellular. White begins his article saying, "The new CEO at satellite TV player Dish Networks in the US made it loud and clear at this week's results conference that it is after two things—a significant place at the table in US wireless and that it will continue to keep content delivery at the heart of what it does. But beyond that new CEO Joseph Clayton said that he wanted his plans to remain nebulous to outsiders for the time being."

LightSquared Blames GPS Manufacturers for Interference Fiasco
LightSquared issued a press releaseGPS Industry's failure to comply with Department of Defense and International Standards for GPS Receivers Cause of Interference. LightSquared Executive VP for Regulatory Affairs & Public Policy Jeffrey Carlisle wrote, ""If all spectrum users demanded the irrational guard band solutions that GPS manufacturers are demanding, we would not have broadband in this country and efficient spectrum use would take a backseat to the squeakiest wheel. This type of precedent would set back the United States' competitiveness by decades. The GPS industry turned a blind eye to the Department of Defense's recommendations regarding the manufacturing of commercial GPS receivers and a blind eye to the ITU's long-standing recommendations regarding GPS receiver performance." The press release says, "Given the DoD's clear recommendations and the long-standing ITU warnings, it is not credible for the GPS industry to now claim that it is not responsible for the flawed design of its receivers. By demanding that LightSquared be prevented from building a ground service that has been authorized for years, the GPS manufacturers are simply trying to formalize squatting for free on someone else's licensed spectrum."

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.