[opendtv] Re: FCC TAKES STEPS TO ALLOW NEW LOW POWER DEVICES ON VACANT TV CHANNELS

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2006 12:13:32 -0400

At 11:35 AM -0400 10/18/06, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:

The TV signal at your indoor antenna, inside an apartment building, is
often going to be weak. The unlicensed device in the apartment next door
might use the same frequency as a (weak indoors) OTA station, or it
might grab an adjacent channel. Even if it's a low power device, it
could end up being quite a bit stronger than the legitimate TV signal,
at that location.

Another very likely scenario is that the unlicensed device will
determine a particular frequency band is "white space" at its own
location. But in your apartment, the TV channel in that band is (was)
plenty strong enough to decode. So the unlicensed device, even at sub-1
watt levels, will now swamp the TV signal in your next door apartment.


I believe that this is not an accurate assessment.

First, as I understand the rules these devices would not be allowed to operate on frequencies being used by broadcasters in the market.

Second, I think that the adjacent channel problem has been overstated. At very low power levels there is very little reason to believe that signals on adjacent channels will interfere with DIGITAL broadcasts. The tests that I have read about do demonstrate some interference with adjacent analog channels, however, this is a non issue, as the analog service will not be operating after the date when the unlicensed devices will have access to the spectrum. Interference with adjacent digital channels should not be a problem, as the system was designed to permit this - it would not have been possible to assign second channels to broadcasters during the transition if this was not the case.

If the broadcasters were seriously interested in fielding a competitive service, then those challenging the white spaces R&O might have a good argument. They could demonstrate how the spectrum in each market could be used EFFICIENTLY to offer a viable multichannel service. But the current situation amounts to little more that holding onto the spectrum so as to protect the ability of broadcasters to demand re-transmission consent payments from the multichannel services that are the backbone of "broadcast television" today.

Regards
Craig


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