While US webcasters may think that they have legal issues – whether it be the Internet radio music royalties that have been such a concern (see our coverage, here) or the copyright and other liability issues that surround user-generated content on various websites (see our story here), they face nothing like new rules that
FCC Announces Further Testing of White Spaces Devices
The FCC has announced that on January 24 it will begin a new round of testing of wireless devices that will work in that part of the communications spectrum currently reserved for television station operation. The idea, about which we wrote here, would be that these devices could operate at low power, on channels not used by…
FCC Plans More Testing of White Spaces Devices to Operate Within the Television Spectrum
On Friday, the FCC issued a public notice promising further testing of "white spaces" devices. As we’ve written before, these devices are being promoted by many of the largest tech companies as ways to make more efficient use of the television spectrum by using low power wireless devices within that spectrum in places where those devices would not interfere with the operation of television reception. The National Association of Broadcasters and other television groups have opposed allowing such operations for fear that they will cause interference to broadcast stations. Especially during the digital transition, when listening habits are just being worked out and new digital televisions are just being purchase and installed by users, and because interference to a digital television station does not result in "snow" as in the analog world, but instead no picture at all, broadcasters fear that these devices could severely impact the success of the digital transition.
In August, as we wrote here, the FCC released the first results of its interference studies, finding the potential for severe interference to television broadcasters. While broadcast groups trumpeted these tests as proof of their fears, many of the tech companies claimed that the testing was flawed, using at least one device that was malfunctioning. The tech companies essentially asked for a "do over," while the broadcasters argued that, even if a tested device was malfunctioning, that malfunction itself was enough to demonstrate that the devices are not reliable enough to protect television operations during this sensitive transition.…
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