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Now Hiring: FCC Spectrum Manager

The FCC is looking for someone to manage the database that will identify unused TV spectrum for use by unlicensed devices like laptops for mobile broadband.

In a notice released last week, the FCC gave potential database managers until Jan. 4 to outline proposals for the database, which will have to contain the information, a process for incumbents to register, and a way for devices to query it.

Potential administrators will have to demonstrate expertise, a business plan for the next five years--as the FCC points out, "administrators may charge fees to register fixed TV band devices and temporary broadcast auxiliary fixed links and to provide lists of available channels to TV band devices."

Back when the FCC approved the so-called white spaces between TV channels for use by the devices, it made a part of that decision a combination geo-location device and database identifying incumbent band users, which include full-power and low-power TV stations.

That is an effort to prevent interference from the devices, which search out vacant spectrum to operate on. The database is meant to tell an unlicensed device which channels are vacant, as well as to regiser the locations of fixed devices and "protected locations and channels" not listed in FCC databases.

Those could include cable headends or locations where wireless microphones are regularly used.

The public and industry will have until Feb. 18 to comment on the proposals.