Friday in the white spaces

Things are heating up in the white spaces proceeding. The Commission will soon have to decide what to do. How will it deal with the conflicting technical evidence on interference, particularly given the abject failure of the Microsoft device last month? Is there a way to slice up the issue so as not to cut off later decisions about unlicensed portable devices? What impact should the broadcasters’ claims about not wanting to delay the DTV transition have, particularly given that the broadcasters themselves will end up (inevitably) delaying the transition themselves? There are no objective answers here. These are all deeply-contested, subjective, political issues.

Filings from the last week:

Google’s Larry Page called Chairman Martin to explain that consumers care about prompt completion of the white spaces proceeding and that new portable devices can avoid interference.

A huge flock of broadcasters (the “Association for Maximum Service Television”), sports leagues, television manufacturers, and others emphasized to the Commission the importance of over-the-air television, “especially during emergencies,” and claimed that the sensing levels the FCC is using to test portable devices don’t adequately protect TV transmissions. They’re also arguing that fixed devices can be used in the white spaces to help rural broadband penetration.

Former Commr. Kathleen Abernathy called in from Akin Gump on behalf of the above-mentioned Association for Maximum Service Television to point out “the need to ensure that the digital television (“DTV”) transition proceeds smoothly” and to note that “the potential for interference caused by mobile devices operating in broadcast spectrum would complicate the transition.”

The presidents of Entravision, Telemundo, TuVision, and Univision wrote in to say that “[b]ecause of [the] very tangible and significant threat of interference to Hispanic television viewers, large numbers of whom continue to be over-the-air viewers, we urge the FCC not to allow the wholesale introduction of untold numbers of personal and portable unlicensed devices into the television band until it can be conclusively demonstrated that they will not interfere with broadcast operations.”

And the New America Foundation makes the key point:

“It is important to bear in mind that “sufficient protection” from harmful interference is not a simple technical matter but a complex question of weighing potential benefits, risks and user expectations. For example, while broadcasters would set standards sensitive enough to protect every out of market signal – however distant – from the risk of intermittent interference, to do so would create such enormous costs and so limit the availability of the spectrum as to render such rules effectively unworkable.”

3 thoughts on “Friday in the white spaces

  1. Anonymous

    Speaking of WhiteSpaces…
    …as a so-called ICANN/IANA Director (unelected and planted by Esther Dyson and others) are you implying that the WhiteSpaces below could be used and re-used over and over with packet transports that set the
    TTL (Hop-Count) very low so that the packets can not travel very far
    and collide with other uses in other regions ?
    If so, where would that be documented in the Open and Transparent
    Policies and Procedures of ICANN/IANA ?
    Also, where are the Open and Transparent policies and procedures for
    obtaining one of the /8s listed below that you have reserved for your
    personal IANA use ? What do you do with that WhiteSpace ?
    000/8 Sep 81 IANA – Reserved
    001/8 Sep 81 IANA – Reserved
    002/8 Sep 81 IANA – Reserved
    003/8 May 94 General Electric Company
    004/8 Dec 92 Level 3 Communications, Inc. (Updated – Apr 07)
    005/8 Jul 95 IANA – Reserved
    006/8 Feb 94 Army Information Systems Center
    007/8 Apr 95 IANA – Reserved
    008/8 Dec 92 Level 3 Communications, Inc. (Updated – Apr 07)
    009/8 Aug 92 IBM
    010/8 Jun 95 IANA – Private Use See [RFC1918]
    011/8 May 93 DoD Intel Information Systems
    012/8 Jun 95 AT&T Bell Laboratories
    013/8 Sep 91 Xerox Corporation
    014/8 Jun 91 IANA – Public Data Network
    015/8 Jul 94 Hewlett-Packard Company
    016/8 Nov 94 Digital Equipment Corporation
    017/8 Jul 92 Apple Computer Inc.
    018/8 Jan 94 MIT
    019/8 May 95 Ford Motor Company
    020/8 Oct 94 Computer Sciences Corporation
    021/8 Jul 91 DDN-RVN
    022/8 May 93 Defense Information Systems Agency
    023/8 Jul 95 IANA – Reserved
    024/8 May 01 ARIN – Cable Block (Formerly IANA – Jul 95)
    025/8 Jan 95 UK Ministry of Defense (Updated – Jan 06)
    026/8 May 95 Defense Information Systems Agency
    027/8 Apr 95 IANA – Reserved
    028/8 Jul 92 DSI-North
    029/8 Jul 91 Defense Information Systems Agency
    030/8 Jul 91 Defense Information Systems Agency
    031/8 Apr 99 IANA – Reserved
    032/8 Jun 94 AT&T Global Network Services (Updated – Aug 07)
    033/8 Jan 91 DLA Systems Automation Center
    034/8 Mar 93 Halliburton Company
    035/8 Apr 94 MERIT Computer Network
    036/8 Jul 00 IANA – Reserved (Formerly Stanford University – Apr 93)
    037/8 Apr 95 IANA – Reserved
    038/8 Sep 94 Performance Systems International
    039/8 Apr 95 IANA – Reserved
    040/8 Jun 94 Eli Lily and Company
    041/8 Apr 05 AfriNIC (
    042/8 Jul 95 IANA – Reserved
    043/8 Jan 91 Japan Inet
    044/8 Jul 92 Amateur Radio Digital Communications
    045/8 Jan 95 Interop Show Network
    046/8 Dec 92 IANA – Reserved (Updated – Apr 07)
    047/8 Jan 91 Bell-Northern Research
    048/8 May 95 Prudential Securities Inc.
    049/8 Mar 98 IANA – Reserved (Updated – May 07)
    050/8 Mar 98 IANA – Reserved (Updated – May 07)
    051/8 Aug 94 Deparment of Social Security of UK
    052/8 Dec 91 E.I. duPont de Nemours and Co., Inc.
    053/8 Oct 93 Cap Debis CCS
    054/8 Mar 92 Merck and Co., Inc.
    055/8 Apr 95 DoD Network Information Center (Updated – Feb 07)
    056/8 Jun 94 U.S. Postal Service
    057/8 May 95 SITA

  2. Anonymous

    By the way, when did you approve a /8 for AT&T ?
    030/8 Jul 91 Defense Information Systems Agency
    031/8 Apr 99 IANA – Reserved
    032/8 Jun 94 AT&T Global Network Services (Updated – Aug 07)
    033/8 Jan 91 DLA Systems Automation Center
    034/8 Mar 93 Halliburton Company

  3. Anonymous

    Does anyone know where the Open and Transparent ICANN/IANA Policies and Processes are for obtaining a /8 ???
    029/8 Defense Information Systems Agency Jul 91
    030/8 Defense Information Systems Agency Jul 91
    031/8 IANA – Reserved Apr 99
    032/8 Norsk Informasjonsteknologi Jun 94
    033/8 DLA Systems Automation Center Jan 91
    034/8 Halliburton Company Mar 93
    035/8 MERIT Computer Network Apr 94
    036/8 IANA – Reserved Jul 00

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