[opendtv] News: TV Stations Urge Go-Slow Approach on Wi-Fi

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2004 08:45:12 -0500


TV Stations Urge Go-Slow Approach on Wi-Fi
Bill McConnell -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/30/2004 6:40:00 PM

Public and commercial broadcasters are asking the FCC to delay plans 
to let Wi-Fi (wireless) local area networks and other unlicensed 
communications devices operate on vacant TV channels.

The FCC proposal "would produce many detrimental and unintended 
consequences to America's free, over-the-air television service but 
fails to present any meaningful method for resolving such problems," 
the National Association of Broadcasters wrote in comments filed with 
the FCC Tuesday. "The public would be ill-served by its adoption."

NAB was joined in its comments by digital-TV trade group MSTV.

Moving forward now would create potential for new interference to TV 
reception from these devices and complicate TV stations' efforts to 
pick their permanent DTV channel, said Pappas Telecasting. "The 
commission has failed to show that there is an overriding 
justification for the introduction of these unlicensed devices at 
this time."

The Association for Public Television Stations agrees with that 
assessment. Until broadcasters have picked their permanent channels 
and real-world testing of the devices proves that there will be no 
interference, introduction of the new service puts at risk the 
billion-plus dollars that public stations have invested in 
construction of DTV facilities.

Cable operators are also concerned that the devices will create 
unforeseen interference with existing broadcasters because cable 
systems rely heavily on stations' over-the-air signals to receive the 
local channels they must provide subscribers. "The public expectation 
of high-quality broadcast television signals and other services from 
cable operators must not be compromised," the National Cable & 
Telecommunications Association told the FCC.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, an association that certifies interoperability of 
wireless local area network products, however, is eager for the FCC 
to move forward. It asked the commission to allow telecom companies 
great leeway in choosing which interference-mitigation techniques 
they believe work the best rather than forcing a particular method on 
the industry.

The FCC is considering letting unlicensed devices operate on vacant 
channels as a way of alleviating a spectrum shortage created by the 
proliferation of new telecom devices. Broadcasters say there is 
enough open spectrum at the moment to accommodate demand and no harm 
will be done by waiting for the DTV switch to complete before using 
TV spectrum.

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:

  • » [opendtv] News: TV Stations Urge Go-Slow Approach on Wi-Fi