If you never thought you had a voice in D.C. then you were wrong. I was
starting to think a person could not make a difference until I started
seeing what we have seen of late from D.C. The access to television
channels spaces is the biggest step we could have ever hoped to make in
providing universal wireless broadband access in the United States. It
was quite possibly the biggest reason I wanted to see a WISP run
organization created to work for better policy and law for our industry.
We do not have this television space yet but all indications of late are
pointing to the direction of the passage of 04-186 that so many of you
took the time to comment on. You made it happen. Whether it happens now
or not you can know you made your voices heard and I am proud of all of
you for your efforts to help your industry.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [TVWHITESPACE] news exerpt that 04-186 may be moving at the FCC
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 10:18:12 -0500
From: Jim Snider <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Reply-To: FCC NPRM for UHF TV Band Unlicensed Use
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
February 27, 2006 Monday
SECTION: TODAY'S NEWS
LENGTH: 487 words
HEADLINE: Stalled White Spaces Rulemaking Closer to FCC Vote
The FCC, under growing congressional and high-tech sector pressure, is
closer to approving a rulemaking opening unused TV channels to
unlicensed use, sources said. The final "white spaces" rule could come
this summer and would take effect after the DTV transition ends in 2009.
A white spaces bill unveiled last week by Senate Commerce Committee
Chmn. Stevens (R-Alaska) and other senators (CD Feb 21 p1) would open
unused broadcast TV spectrum between 72 and 698 MHz. Sen. Allen (R-Va.)
also introduced a bill. The war over white spaces will pit broadcasters
against Microsoft and other high-tech firms eager for more spectrum to
be used by Wi-Fi and other unlicensed devices. Broadcasters historically
have urged the FCC to move cautiously, especially given uncertainty as
they convert systems to digital.
"I'm hearing this is moving, maybe not this week, but relatively soon,"
said a lawyer who lobbies the FCC. "Since Congress is getting involved,
it gives [Chmn.] Martin cover to stand up to the broadcasters and that
may be all he needs." Opening TV white spaces to unlicensed use ranked
high as a recommendation in a 2002 report by the FCC's Spectrum Policy
Task Force. In May 2004, the FCC authorized a white spaces notice of
proposed rulemaking that has languished since. The FCC was said to be
near approval of a white spaces order in 2005, just before former Chmn.
Michael Powell left the Commission, but never pulled the trigger.
Conventional wisdom has been that Chmn. Martin is reluctant to move
forward. When the NPRM was voted out, he voiced concern about "the
proceeding's impact on the broadcasters and their transition to digital
television." Martin expressed similar sentiments in Dec. 2002, when the
FCC launched an inquiry into permitting unlicensed transmitters to
operate in additional frequency bands.
"I'm hearing lots of noises that were more positive than anything I
expected, because Kevin Martin has traditionally been so hostile" to the
proposal, a regulatory attorney said: "There seems like there's more
openness than I ever expected that we'd see." Introduction of white
spaces bills "would seem to give him cover to proceed if he was inclined
to do so," a 2nd attorney said: "The problem is going to be working
through adequate protection and ensuring the technology will work to
protect incumbents. It sounds easy in principle. It may be more
difficult in practice."
J.H. Snider, Ph.D.
Director of Research, Wireless Future Program
New America Foundation
1630 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20009
E-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
My Book Website: speaksoftly.jhsnider.net
My Personal Blog: jhsnider.net/telecompolicy
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