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NAB to FCC: White Spaces Devices Should Check All Channels

Broadcasters want the FCC to make sure that unlicensed devices using the so-called white spaces in the TV spectrum bands won't interfere with wireless microphones.

In a filing with the FCC, the National Association of Broadcasters has said that Google's claims that requiring the devices to frequently briefly check all channels in the FCC database to make sure they are using vacant channels is burdensome or unreasonable don't hold up.

Google also does not like the FCC's current system of requiring the database to "push" information to white space devices in areas where wireless mics are operating.

As to Google's arguments that checking all channels will drain the batteries of those devices to query the database—NAB suggests every 20 minutes—NAB says that at least initially, they are not battery powered devices.

Google has proposed only checking a couple of channels, but NAB says a wireless mic might not be operating on those and still be in the vicinity of such a device.

Given the hypothetical nature of battery-powered devices, says NAB, more frequent checking is the way to go.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.