FCC moving forward on white spaces


One of the keys to creating a system under which unlicensed devices can begin going into operation in the spaces between licensed television stations and other outlets is creation and maintenance of a database that the devices will use to avoid interference with incumbents. The administrator(s) of such a pool of data is to be a private firm(s), and the FCC is now taking proposals for companies interested in being considered for the job.

Here is the FCC’s description of the challenge: “To prevent interference to authorized users of the TV bands, TV band devices must include a geo-location capability and the capability to access a database that identifies incumbent users entitled to interference protection, including, for example, full power and low power TV stations, broadcast auxiliary point-to-point facilities, PLMRS/CMRS operations on channels 14-20, and the Offshore Radiotelephone Service. The database will tell a TV band device which TV channels are vacant and can be used at its location.  The database also will be used to register the locations of fixed TV band devices and protected locations and channels of incumbent services that are not recorded in Commission databases. The Commission decided in the Second Report and Order to designate one or more database administrators from the private sector to create and operate TV band database(s), which will be a privately owned and operated service. Database administrators may charge fees to register fixed TV band devices and temporary broadcast auxiliary fixed links and to provide lists of available channels to TV band devices.”

The project is under the auspices of the Office of Engineering and Technology, and is listed under ET Docket No. 04-186 – go there for more details.

Proposals are due by 1/4/10. The FCC is also taking comments on the proposals, due 2/3/10 with reply comments due 2/18/10.