If you are a major carrier that wants maximum distance between towers and total control of a national network based on old technology, maybe. When it comes to wireless, I think we have been and continue to take the wrong approach. We are currently supporting a big government / wireless cartel solution. There could be a better way. After all, the airwaves belong to all of us, not the FCC and a few corporations.
In a speech last year, Michael Calabrese proposed an alternative worthy of consideration.
Michael Calabrese argues that the FCC’s depicted apportioning of the airwave spectrum gives a false impression of scarcity, especially as it fails to consider the real use of each frequency assignment and the full capabilities of digital transmitters and receivers today. The government can do more to assure the wireless future offers pervasive, ubiquitous, and affordable connectivity.
By considering the two general concepts of underlay (increasing use of a particular frequency, such as in a time-sharing condition) and overlay (filling unoccupied frequencies), he means to show how much more can be done with the airwave spectrum, taking into account possibilities for frequency sharing and the adjacencies now possible without interference. He gives an example of “cognitive radio,” which operates at low power and searches out the most appropriate frequency in a given condition. (IT Conversations)
Audio link follows:
Those channels of static that compose the majority of the TV band in most locales have been put to good use in one Virginia town.
The first public white spaces network officially launched on Wednesday in Claudville, Virginia. It is uses sensing technology from Spectrum Bridge with software and Web cams supplied by Microsoft and PCs supplied by Dell. The project was funded the TDF Foundation. (Network World)
This is a step in the right direction, but far too little and very late. The airwaves belong to the public, not to the revolving door elites in Washington DC or the wireless cartel that they serve. We need rules that grant this spectrum to the public to use as it sees fit before some enterprising bureaucrat develops another auction scheme.
Well the veiled “We don’t want this, stay away” responses did not work so the forces of the NAB are making it personal now. Their target? Julius Knapp –
He is one of the most respected, accomplished and well-liked public servants ever to grace the Federal Communications Commission. Now, mobile phone carriers, TV network moguls and others want his head. Julius Knapp, chief of the agency’s Office of Engineering and Technology, has a big target on his back. There is nothing subtle about the disdain gushing his way.
Knapp is running interference so to speak for FCC Chairman Kevin Martin regarding controversial white spaces and advanced wireless services-3 initiatives. The floodgates opened after the OET issued testing reports that concluded unlicensed devices can operate without disruption to others in TV airwaves and that a new national wireless broadband service can coexist in frequencies next to those purchased for billions of dollars by wireless carriers at a 2006 auction.
Broadcasters and their ilk contend the OET’s analysis of white spaces interference testing is flawed. The wireless industry attacked the OET over a report on testing to ascertain potential interference from TDD transmissions in the AWS-3 band (2155-2180 MHz) to cellphone service in the AWS-1 band (2110-2155 MHz).
I don’t know Mr. Knapp from a hole in the ground. But just like the ‘Joe the Plumber’ incident this is getting out of hand. If Knapp over stepped his capacity then have the FCC slap him around. But I tend to doubt he did. But if Knapp is just doing what he was asked to do, well then we are bound to support the guy.
I would have two questions for the NAB mavens. 1) What do YOU intended to do with the white space bandwidth? Fears of interference don’t count for you as your services are moving to an entirely different frequency band. Lacking plans, go away. 2) Where is your economic standing for your loss? Since your industry only used the space as guard bands to prevent interference amongst yourselves please identify how you incur any economic loss in the matter?
We await your reply. Not expecting any of course.
I’m beginning to think the NAB is onto something they aren’t sharing. With the growth in TVoIP as the up and coming distribution model, more widely available, cheaply deployable broadband could potentially obsolete their big transmitters. That airspace would access any programming, not just the programming they are broadcasting on a schedule. Welcome to the Third Pipe world Mr and Ms Rabbit Ears!
The FCC could feel compelled to open some prime 700MHz spectrum to the public for free use after so purposefully ignoring the actual owners of the airwaves when opening new 700MHz licenses. White spaces gives them an easy out for the agency’s most glaring abuse of power in recent years. With the possibility of new appointees who could be more easily bought off by the NAB, the present group will probably try to act on this before year end. The NAB seems to be wise to this as well since they are lobbying vigorously to delay a decision.
The FCC is expected to consider approving white-space devices at the next meeting of the five commissioners on Nov. 4. The move would be a victory for Google cofounder Larry Page, who recently told members of the Wireless Innovation Alliance that he hoped the FCC would act before the results of the November elections were in. “We can show real leadership in the world in a way that matters to everybody,” Page said.
However, the trade association representing the nation’s broadcasters wants the FCC to seek public comments on its report before it decides to move forward. “With the transition to digital television looming and tens of millions of TV viewers at risk, the stakes are too high for this proposal to be rammed through without thoughtful deliberation,” Wharton said. (Yahoo)
In what has to be a massive blow to the 700mhz band, the FCC in a report and as a policy decision has concluded that a open frequency will be necessary for this nation in the future. –
“We need to reserve some spectrum for free broadband services,” Martin said. “This would be lifeline broadband service . . . that would be designed for lower-income people who may not otherwise have access to the Internet.”
Of course the legacy carriers are all up in arms! –
But several large wireless carriers, including T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, argue that using the spectrum will in fact interfere with their own broadband services operating in adjacent airwaves.
T-Mobile has been a vocal opponent of the plan, saying it will cause major disruption for its customers, especially as it rolls out its new G1 phone in partnership with Google.
FCC engineers conducted field tests last month in Seattle to determine the level of static between the services. The FCC concluded that sufficient technical protections would prevent major problems.
Martin’s proposal is to auction off the spectrum, with some rules attached. Some of the spectrum would be used for free Internet service, which would have content filters to block material considered inappropriate for children. Adults would be able to get around the filters.
The network would have to reach half of the U.S. population after four years, and 95 percent after 10 years.
I will be the last to tell you that I love the shaft the carriers are giving the American Public. But then again, were I Verizon I would probably be asking for my money back on the 700mhz space they just won. Nor from a FCC perspective is this prudent. It damages any future auctions they may have in the wireless space. Buyers will factor in any possibility of a free band that will compete against them as part of their pricing strategy. That’s Adam Smith’s Invisible Hammer at work.
But on the other hand, I see the need for the free band. There are frequencies that will not be used. We have had the battle of the white space wars and it has been proven that a properly designed spread spectrum device will not cause havoc. That it will be used only by low income will be a fallacy. So long as anybody can walk down to Frys and buy it off the shelf, it will be deployed regardless of income level.
Were I Verizon I would be seriously concerned.
The lobby against using white spaces from broadband now has one fewer member. GE Medical Devices is satisfied with a new provision in the proposal that will set aside frequencies for their devices. A similar arrangement could easily be reached with the wireless microphone makers. That could leave the powerful NAB as the only major opponent of a potentially free and open wireless frontier.
According to a letter to the Federal Communications Commission from corporate parent GE, its GE Healthcare division told the FCC it is satisfied that channel-protection technology it proposed for healthcare devices “was sufficient … to protect licensed wireless medical telemetry service” on channel 37 from “proposed portable white-spaces devices” that would seek out adjacent channels to use.
GE is not saying it necessarily supports the unlicensed devices. It made clear in an earlier filing that it thinks the FCC should not allow the devices to operate in channels 36 and 38. But GE also said in that earlier filing that if the FCC does allow them, it should limit their power output along the lines of a “masking” regime it was proposing.
The most recent filing suggested that GE is satisfied with that fix. (Broadcast & Cable)
While I’m on the soapbox: New white spaces use should be low power, and open using only FCC certified devices. I believe that use should be unlicensed like WiFi.