RF Shorts - Sept. 16, 2010

  • •It's been hard to miss all of the articles about TV White Spaces since the FCC released the agenda for the Sept. 23, 2010 Open Meeting with the "TV White Spaces Second MO&O" at the top of the page. Most of these articles repeat the same story lines ("WiFi on Steroids", etc.) I've covered in RF Report since the concept was first discussed years ago except for an article by Wayne Rash. In this week's eWeek.com article White Space Plan Isn't Exactly WiFi on Steroids, Rash writes, "In fact, there's every possibility that the whole 'White Space' excitement is badly overhyped and in the long run will likely to lead to more disappointment than broadband growth." He outlines all the competing uses for the spectrum, including wireless microphones, stating "...this isn't WiFi at all. It's actually a data service operating at a much lower frequency than WiFi that has better range and building penetration characteristics than WiFi, but also greater exposure to interference. For users, it'll seem like WiFi, but it's not." Rash feels that the best use of TV white spaces may be for fixed wireless, especially in rural areas, which broadcasters, through MSTV, have supported.
  • •Last week, in a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (FCC 10-154) the FCC proposed to cease granting new First Class Radiotelegraph and Third Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificates. The remaining Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate will be renamed the Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate. As a practical matter, the Third Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate carries the same authority as a Marine Radio Operator Permit. Existing First and Second Class Radiotelegraph certificates would be renewed as Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificates. In the five year period ending Dec. 31, 2009, the FCC issued only one First Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificate, 88 Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificates and 10 Third Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificates.
  • •If you are planning any FCC filings requiring fees, be aware that the FCC has announced a Financial System Blackout Period (October 1 – 18, 2010) while it implements a new financial system. The Commission plans to shut down the current system on Sept. 30, 2010, the last day of its fiscal year. The notice cautions that the FCC staff will have only "limited ability" in accessing some files and tracking payments during the conversion. The Commission also noted that time sensitive filings could be subject to processing delays. The notices urged applicants "to plan their licensing activities around the conversion period and submit any applications before commencement of the conversion or after completion of conversion to the new financial system."
Doug Lung

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.