[opendtv] NPR on white spaces vote

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 15:39:10 -0500

I heard a piece on NPR today, about the upcoming FCC vote on white space
devices. It's almost humorous when the bias is so transparent, although
in this case, it might have been caused by a lack of perspective more
than intention to mislead.

The WSD debate was dramatically presented by using a dreaded old PSTN
modem sound. The reporter was explaining how this is the only way many
in rural America get their Internet access.

First of all, IEEE 802.16 already offers wireless broadband access,
using potentially autosensing ideas just as we have seen here, and it's
available from 2 to 66 MHz (802.16 Table B.1 for the freqs below 11
GHz). So it's not like there aren't already options in place for rural

Secondly, using the TV band white spaces for such service, especially in
rural settings where there's typically lots of actual white space, is
not the issue anyway.

The problem would be casued by ad hoc networks. And nothing from the FCC
hints that such consumer devices wouldn't be allowed. If the FCC had
this wide open WSD idea in mind, then the FCC should have done the hard
work to make sure it could play. It was the responsibility of the FCC,
as spectrum manager, to set minimum tuner/demod requirements for TV
receivers as well as the WSDs, operating in the contested frequency

It's hard to argue with trivial generalities like "WSDs can work." Of
course they can work, if the ENTIRE system is designed right. This one
is not. Because those who should have been doing the real work dropped
the ball.

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