FCC: Unlicensed White Space Given A Go

Posted by Kallan Dahn Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The FCC met today and have decided on a compromise. The proposed order would allow the use of unlicensed devices to use the spectrum between television broadcast channels. Carriers have contested the use of white space for fear that the use of this spectrum may cause harmful interference with their existing ASW-1 networks. Engineers for the FCC have completed grueling tests under the watchful eye of third party engineers to determine if the tests would have a negative affect. The entertainment industry is also concerned as wireless microphones, and similar equipment also makes use of this space.

The Engineering tests conclude that while using spectrum sensing only technology, harmful interference can result of occasion. As a result the commission has adopted a new policy along with the approval of the use of this white space. The devices must be tested and certified with the FCC. The device must use both spectrum sensing as well as geo-location technologies. Major venues where a concert may be held may be logged in a data base. This database will feed information to the device about what signals it may use in the geographic area. This will also protect the cellular carriers from harmful interference in the same manner. The device will also be certified to comply with Part 15 of the FCC rules and regulations. This will require the device to shut down, in the event there is a device error and it begins to cause interference. The FCC ended this item by noting that the use of white space is a beginning step, and they hope that the commission following them will implement the necessary changes to allow the use of white space for licensed spectrum also. This will bring into fruition the use of this spectrum for rural area back haul, and possibly Internet services.

This commission meeting was blogged live by CellGeek. To see a live blog replay follow the link below.

CellGeek Live Blog Event: FCC Commission Meeting November 4th, 2008

Related Articles:

FCC: Alltel and Verizon's Final Hurdle Cleared

FCC: Sprint and Clearwire Are Given The Green Light

FCC White Space Testing is Complete

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