FCC expected to vote this week on final white-spaces rules

The FCC is expected to act this week on the final rules that govern white-spaces spectrum, those slivers of unused television spectrum, and some advocates are keeping their fingers crossed that the FCC doesn't place too strict of interference rules that will render the spectrum less useful than once hoped.

"There's a lot of set-asides for wireless microphones and we worry that if all of this stuff goes through it could undermine the ability of white space devices to flourish," Paula Boyd, regulatory affairs counsel with white-space advocate Microsoft, told Enterprise Networking Planet.

Broadcasters, which have consistently opposed the use of white-space spectrum even before the FCC accepted use of it in 2008, have continued to sound the alarm about the potential for interference with their broadcasts. They are pressing for limitations on antenna heights used in white-space networks, which could make white-space services less effective.

Mandated in 2008, the FCC's technical conditions require that both fixed and portable devices include geolocation and spectrum-sensing applications capable of integrating with an FCC database that comprises TV signals and the location of venues such as stadiums and concert arenas that use wireless microphones. Geolocation technology will be used to map the location of the device and compares it to the location of TV stations in an area. The database must be able to check for other registered devices, making sure the device is registered with the database and calculating accurate maps to identify TV channels and other services operating in the spectrum.

For more:
- see this Enterprise Networking Planet article

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