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Unlicensed Devices on TV Channels Revisited

Due to a problem with the formatting of a Web link, the initial e-mail of last week's RF Report was sent with several words missing from my article reporting on the New America Foundation brief, which took the view that unlicensed devices on TV channels would not cause interference. The dropped words changed the meaning of the article, which may have confused some readers about MSTV's position on unlicensed devices on TV channels. An e-mail with the correct text was sent out and the Web page updated. Last week's RF Report is still available online with the corrected article.

MSTV does not support unlicensed devices on TV channels and disputes the findings in the New America Foundation paper. As I pointed out in the article, for New America's conclusions to be validated, the proposed FCC rules for unlicensed devices on TV channels have to be significantly tightened. While the New America Foundation paper disputed the results of the MSTV tests illustrated in "Your Neighbor's Static," the paper admits that a device that creates that much interference could be allowed under current FCC rules and that without some method for protecting cable headends and translator inputs, these too could be vulnerable to interference from unlicensed devices on TV channels. If MSTV and broadcasters are not successful in keeping unlicensed devices off TV channels, then at a minimum, the recommendations for tighter rules on emission limits and the other protections mentioned in the New America paper must be adopted.