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Manufacturers, b'casters differ on use of TV spectrum

TV-equipment makers are urging the Federal Communications Commission to
explore ways unlicensed communications devices can utilize television spectrum.

Sensing opportunity for a new line of business, the Consumer Electronics
Association and Motorola Inc. said the idea is worth considering, albeit carefully.

"The consumer-electronics industry is excited about the possibilities and
future innovations that will certainly result from additional unlicensed
spectrum," the CEA told the FCC April 17 in comments on an FCC inquiry into
spectrum sharing.

But, "the government also must ensure the full and proper operation of legacy
equipment without interference," the trade group added.

The CEA said unlicensed devices may improve interactivity with TV broadcasts.

The manufacturers' optimism contrasts with broadcasters, which argued that
adding wireless devices would pose "serious risks" of interference and consumer
frustration during the transition to digital TV, and which oppose the idea now.

"The commission has no experience with allowing unlicensed devices to operate
in spectrum that is occupied as densely, continuously and ubiquitously as the TV-broadcast spectrum," wrote the National Association of Broadcasters and other
broadcast trade groups.