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NRB Warns FCC on White Spaces

National Religious Broadcasters warned the Federal Communications Commission that if it allows a proceeding on allowing unlicensed mobile devices to share the spectrum band with TV stations and wireless microphones on the assumption that the devices will eventually work without interference, it could be "one of the greatest technical blunders in our nation's history."

Church groups are among those concerned that their wireless-mike use could be disrupted by the devices, like laptops and remote-sensing radios, which would operate in the so-called "white spaces" between channels used by TV stations and unlicensed microphones.

NRB, in a letter to FCC chairman Kevin Martin dated July 30, said the commission should not allow the devices unless and until they pass current field testing "with flying colors on multiple levels."

In the letter, NRB president Frank Wright said the "poor results" from tests to date suggested that allowing the devices could cripple production efforts by its members and "virtually all wireless-microphone users."

"I sincerely hope that one industry's drive to advance a new product line in the marketplace would not unduly pressure the commission to approve operation of new devices that could be disastrous to the broadcast industry," he wrote.

 “This is the first time NRB has weighed in publicly with the FCC on the issue,' says Craig L. Parshall, senior VP and general counsel for NRB.