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Nominet: Broadcaster White Spaces Issues Addressed

White spaces database company Nominet has told the FCC it has resolved broadcaster issues with how it was administering the database.

The FCC tapped Nominet as one of the database administrators charged with ensuring that unlicensed devices authorized to use the so-called white spaces between TV channels recognize and avoid those channels to avoid interference to those licensed operators. 

The National Association of Broadcasters complained to the FCC last month that Nominet had incorrect channel info for at least a couple hundred TV stations, petitioning the FCC to reconsider its approval of Nominet as a white spaces database administrator. NAB says that Nominet can't ensure it is getting the right info from the FCC, and finds it more than troubling that the FCC's process for vetting database administrators could not catch fundamental errors. 

In its response to the FCC regarding NAB's complaint, Nominet said it "promptly rectified the identified discrepancies," once NAB identified them. It thanked NAB for its input and encouraged stakeholders to get in touch with it directly.

As for problems getting the right information from the FCC, Nominet said it did have trouble importing data from the FCC's Licensing and Management System (LMS), pointing out it was the first database administrator that had to use that system after the FCC migrated from its CDBS system, which it said had been "clear and understood."

Broadcasters have long argued that unlicensed operations should only be allowed if it does not interfere with TV stations' licensed to use the spectrum, and being moved into increasingly smaller spectrum allocations as the FCC tries to free up more spectrum for wireless broadband.

“Nominet has previously claimed that its database was fixed – even when it contained incorrect channel information for 200 television stations," said NAB EVP Dennis Wharton. "We continue to urge the FCC to take a fresh look both at Nominet’s database and the Commission’s procedures for approving database administrators.”

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.