[opendtv] Re: News: FCC Sets Schedule for Next Round of White Space Tests

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 07:12:57 -0500

At 7:06 PM -0500 1/20/08, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
I think that this is a different discussion, though. Using available
spectrum for licensed broadcast services is allowing non-TV competition
to use the TV spectrum, following exactly the same interference
prevention techniques that broadcasters are subjected to. Whereas white
space devices are low-power (1 Watt) unlicensed devices, competing for
spectrum that could be in use by what appears to be a very, very weak
signal. Which is why they are potentially such a problem. I think this

Same discussion, different potential users and devices. The device that the FCC will test are as you describe, however, point-to-point systems have already been demonstrated that do not cause interference, using white space channels that CANNOT be used by TV broadcasters in those markets.

As to this other scenario you pose, as far as I'm concerned, if TV
broadcasters aren't interested in using available TV spectrum, then
others should be able to get a crack at it. A prime example might be in
your own market.

It is not a question of interest. It is a question of protection from interference, the same issue that the broadcasters are concerned about for the white spaces devices. It is the use of the high powered big sticks that make it impractical to use these white spaces in adjacent markets. One could argue that broadcasters might be able to use the white spaces for low powered repeaters or cells, if the emissions could be controlled so that they would not interfere with a high powered broadcast in an adjacent market. But once you go down this path, you might as well get rid of the big sticks and move to SFNs to get a step function in spectral reuse.

My feeling is that it's obnoxious for spectrum set aside for FTA TV to
be grabbed by subscription services. But I have to admit that if those
entrusted to use this spectrum prefer to get "paid twice" and not use it
effectively, once again Gainesville being a perfect example, then the
govt has to either change its must-carry/retransmission consent rules,
to fix the problem, or tell the owners of this spectrum (us) that it's
reducing TV spectrum to less than Ch 2-51, which was already a

This is not spectrum set aside for TV use. It is spectrum set aside to protect high powered broadcasters who are using the same frequency in an adjacent market. This is the main reason that the current broadcast TV system is SO INEFFICIENT with respect to spectral re-use.

(IMO, the priority for available TV spectrum ought to be to TV
broadcast, including possibly LPTV, or on-channel repeaters or
translators, to improve coverage. But the economics have to work in the
open, greedy, marketplace. That's what it's all about.)

The economics do not work today. We have a tremendously valuable chunk of spectrum that is lying fallow to deliver free TV to about 15% of the homes in this country. You are the beneficiary of government largesse, while the other 85% are paying for broadcast TV signals and paying through the nose for broadband and cellular services that could use this spectrum to spur competition and lower prices.

So forget any economic arguments...this is all about protecting the best damn tool that the politicians have ever created to hold onto their power.


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