Editorial: Not There Yet

The following is an edited excerpt from a National Association of Broadcasters filing on the FCC’s efforts to allow wireless broadband use of spectrum in the TV band.

More than three years ago, the National Association of Broadcasters filed a petition for rulemaking asking the commission to amend its television white spaces (TVWS) rules to eliminate the so-called “professional installation” option for determining the location of fixed TVWS devices.

As part of that petition, and repeatedly since, NAB demonstrated the unreliability of the TVWS database and the insufficiency of professional installation as a method for determining the location of TVWS devices.

Unfortunately, the commission has taken no further steps to improve the functioning of the TVWS database, apparently because there are not enough white spaces devices to make the effort worthwhile.

If the white spaces experiment ever bears fruit, there is a serious question of whether the database is capable of functioning as intended. We thus urge the commission to take a more active role in examining database providers’ applications to ensure that the TVWS database regime is capable of ensuring that licensed users will not experience harmful interference.

NAB has repeatedly urged the commission to take a more proactive role in ensuring that the primary means of preventing interference to licensed operations actually works.