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

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 15:01:02 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> 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.

It remains to be seen why they can't use the spectrum already allotted
to them, assuming you're talking about MMDS/LMDS type of systems.

My problem is the notion that other systems can use this spectrum, for
more than just very short range devices, but that in that location, TV
cannot. I have a hard time understanding the "cannot" part. If these
non-TV users are extremely directional, as you seem to suggest, then
they ought to be using much higher frequencies anyway, where they would
be able to implement very high gain, directional antennas. The TV
spectrum is not ideal for this, especially not in the frequencies that
remain assigned to TV. And I'm not even clear why TV broadcasters
couldn't use directional beams to help even out their coverage, in
certain difficult cases.

> 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.

Your were almost there, and then lapsed into illogic.

Of course, what you said initially is what I was arguing. But just
because on-channel repeaters or translators can be useful even if low
powered, this does not mean that big sticks aren't also very useful. We
have been over this time and time and time again.

Let me give you one statistic you can mull over. Italy has a total of
2000 TV towers, both "high" powered and repeaters. France has a total of
3000. The US has a total of ~6000, and that would only be true if we
assume that the existing analog translators migrate to digital (instead
of being summarily eliminated). No matter whether you do the math in
terms of population, population density, land mass, or towers with
multiple TV antennas on them, you will see those numbers are VERY

Italy and France ALSO use big sticks, but their
just-as-tall-if-not-taller sticks are much lower power. All systems use
a mix of higher and lower-powered sticks. That "you might as well"
sentence of yours is a non-sequitur.

> 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.

This argument never made any more sense to me than the "protecting the
NTSC franchise" argument. You can be absolutely certain that even if OTA
TV were to disappear, broadcasters transmitting over cable and DBS nets
would be required to air certain political programming, such as State of
the Union addresses.

You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts: