White Spaces: Telcordia Says It Can Find Them

WASHINGTON: Telcordia says it can find unoccupied TV channels in compliance with federal white-space rules. Telcordia Technologies of Piscataway, N.J., filed the results of its required 45-day test run with the Federal Communications Commission this week. Story continued below image.

“Telcordia respectfully reports that its trial was successful,” the filing said. “Of the comments received, none reported issues with the Telcordia TV Band White Space Database implementation of the rules, and all comments were address by the end of the trial,” which concluded Jan. 20.

The intent of the trial period is to see if the database correctly identifies spectrum swaths in the TV band--Chs. 2-51--that are not occupied by licensed users, so that spectrum might be used by unlicensed devices. The trial involves opening it up to the public via a web portal comprising a channel-availability calculator, and registries for cable and satellite headend locations, broadcast auxiliary temporary receive sites, and wireless microphones.

Telcordia said it received 1,384 visits from 599 unique visitors covering 24 countries on five continents during the 45-day period. A total of 47 wireless mics were registered, nine headends and 11 temporary BAS facilities. Thirteen comments were received. Two involved discrepancies between Telcordia’s test site and another launched last fall by Spectrum Bridge--the first candidate company to gain FCC approval to operate a white-space database. Telcordia said the discrepancies were due to the wrong version of Spectrum Bridge’s database being checked. Other assorted comments addressed the interface, channel availability for wireless mics, and registering TV translators.

Telcordia’s channel-availability calculator remains live. It is built on Google Maps and shows which of Chs. 2-51 are available. In Cozad, Nebr., for example, it shows 28 channels open for unlicensed devices. In Marina del Rey, Calif., it shows only one.

The next likely step in Telcordia’s approval process is for the FCC to open its trial results up to public comment, as was done with Spectrum Bridge. (See “FCC Seeks Comment on Spectrum Bridge White Space Trial.”) Spectrum Bridge was approved as a database administrator Dec. 22, and recently launched the first commercial White-Fi network in Hanover County, N.C. The network includes fixed transmitters placed in public parks where typical 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks will not reach.
~Deborah D. McAdams