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Why We Need Unlicensed White-Space Broadband Spectrum

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the 50,000-watt-internet-stations-at-the-border dept.

The Internet 179

pgoldtho writes "PC Mag has a story about why the 'white-space' spectrum that will be freed when TV broadcasts switch to digital should be available for unlicensed use. This would allow it to be used to deliver broadband connectivity in rural areas and create a 'third pipe' alternative to the cable/telco duopoly. The FCC is scheduled to vote on this November 4th. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has filed an emergency appeal to block this vote. If the NAB succeeds, the issue will be kicked into next year. Which would mean a new FCC, Congress, and Administration."

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179 comments

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That's not what we need (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582137)

We need linux with printer and other related drivers!!! Please!!!

Upload? (-1, Flamebait)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582169)

How would folks upload on this 'third pipe'?
Wouldn't this require repeaters? Who's going to pay for this?
Oh, that's right, I am. The taxpayer.

Re:Upload? (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582317)

While you are right, I think you are emotionally wrong. If Google puts up a nationwide 3 channel white space network, paying for it with ad revenue, then yes, you do pay for it, but you don't pay for it, if you understand what I mean.
One might also argue that nothing worth having is truly free. You have to pay for it at some point, and in some way.

Besides, won't someone think of the terrorists? They need communications too!

On a lighter note, there are many situations that justify a socialistic payment plan. Imagine that everyone has Internet access, pizza and emergency services are routinely ordered via the Internet. It is so common that an entire generation has grown up using it. Now, imagine that this is only for people who can afford it. When we decide to make this pay for play forever, it ends up being the same as pay for play electricity. Perhaps not everyone can afford it, but no one can NOT afford to pay for it. The Internet is becoming something that is not really optional anymore. Sure, you can say you can live without it, but you won't be competitive, you won't be effective in society. There is a point where services become necessary rather than luxuries. The USA is at the point where Internet service is a necessity rather than a luxury.

The White Space networking plan is a good one. There is space there for controlled usage. The fear mongers are trying to sell their own services. Musicians who worry that their wireless microphones will stop working are selling fear, and blatantly so. It amazes me, musicians, like the rest of the population will have some very small percentage who are smart and who understand telecommunications, so why do we listen to all of them like they are special?

Moving on... Why should you pay for it? Simple. For the same reasons that the Federal Government tries to regulate the financial markets. It's supposed to be good for growth and prosperity of the whole country, not just for one or two people. (Even though that seems to be what is happening under the current government) when other parts of the country/economy grow, you benefit as well. The point is that tax payer dollars spent on white space networks with open access is good for the economy, and thus good for you and me. If no tax dollars are spent on it, that's even better.

Re:Upload? (1)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582363)

Thanks. But nobody answered the first question.
And like it or not, but those telephone poles weren't put up by the phone company on their dime.

Re:Upload? (2, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584345)

naturally municipal WiFi/WiMax deployment would be handled by the municipal government.

having an unlicensed white-space broadband spectrum simply allows wireless broadband equipment manufacturers to use the white-space spectrum, which is currently monopolized by TV broadcasters and the occasional wireless microphone user. opening up the white-space spectrum to a more broadly useful (and increasingly vital) application has nothing to do with making you pay for someone else's internet access.

regardless of how it's going to be implemented/funded, these wireless devices will need a radio frequency range to operate on. so maybe you should go back to worrying about someone driving on the roads you paid for, or your neighbor's kids using textbooks purchased with your tax dollars. public education has more to do with socialism than the white-space wireless debate.

Re:Upload? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582443)

Moving on... Why should you pay for it? Simple. For the same reasons that the Federal Government tries to regulate the financial markets. It's supposed to be good for growth and prosperity of the whole country, not just for one or two people.

While were fucking at it fucktard, why don't we fucking go all the way fuckatrd and have the fucking government own fucking everything. Istn't that what you fucktarded shitdot sheeple want?

Or better yet, why don't you fucktarded shitdot sheeple go collectivly slit your fucking wrists instead.

-baldass_newbie (136609)

Re:Upload? (1, Troll)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582591)

The government, fucktard, isn't trying to fucking own the white space networks, fucktard. Google and a few other fucking companies are fucking trying to fucking do something fucking good for fucktards in society. Fucktards like you are fucking trying to fucking ruin every fucking thing because you fucking can't understand fucking common fucking sense. What a fucktard you are. They will fucking probably fucking make some fucking money for their fucking efforts, but for fuck sake, they fucking deserve to fucking make some fucking cash for all that fucking work. You, fucktard, on the other hand fucking probably think that you alone are fucking worthy of getting something for fucking free while every fucking body else needs to fucking pay. Perhaps next fucking time you can fucking read something about the fucking issue before fucking shooting off your fucktard mouth about fucking shit you have no fucking clue about?

Re:Upload? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582653)

This is actually informative if you remove every instance of the word "fuck"!

Re:Upload? (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582755)

God help us all if that post is modded as informative!!

Re:Upload? (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583067)

He responded to a troll in an informative way using the troll's own native dialect. Sounds informative to me.

Re:Upload? (1)

wolfsdaughter (1081205) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582811)

You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Upload? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582993)

Ask your doctor to decrease the dose.

Re:Upload? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583029)

>>>>. They will probably make some money for their efforts, but they deserve to make some cash for all that work.

Isn't the same true for the local TV stations broadcasting on channels 2 to 51? Don't you think they deserve the right to have their spectrum free of interference, and therefore free of white-space devices?

Or what about those who have invested ~$300 in antennas, digital converter boxes, and monitors to watch channels 2 to 51? Don't they ALSO deserve to have access to the over-the-air television in which they've invested lots of money, and free of interference from whitespace devices? The answer for me is "yes".

Re:Upload? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25584251)

Except for one pertinent instance of "fuck", all others removed and the grammar slightly altered to make up for it. Otherwise this is the exact same post as above.

--

The government, isn't trying to own the white space networks. Google and a few other companies are trying to do something good for society. People like you are trying to ruin everything because you can't understand common sense. They will probably make some money for their efforts, but for fucks sake, they deserve to make some cash for all that work. You, on the other hand, probably think that you alone are worthy of getting something for free while everybody else needs to pay. Perhaps next time you can read something about the issue before shooting off your mouth about shit you have no clue about?

--

Fscking (lack of) mod points... (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584749)

Except for one pertinent instance of "fuck", all others removed and the grammar slightly altered to make up for it. Otherwise this is the exact same post as above.

The government isn't trying to own the white space networks. Google and a few other companies are trying to do something good for society. People like you are trying to ruin everything because you can't understand common sense. They will probably make some money for their efforts, but for fucks sake, they deserve to make some cash for all that work. You, on the other hand, probably think that you alone are worthy of getting something for free while everybody else needs to pay. Perhaps next time you can read something about the issue before shooting off your mouth about shit you have no clue about?

Wish I had some mod points for this AC post. Thank you for making it easier to understand wtf he was trying to say.

Re:Upload? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582549)

The gov't shouldn't necessarily be regulating anything. With regulation comes control and I don't think the gov't should be controlling the internet access of citizens. Think of the anti political party sites of whatever party is in power...how will we get 'real' news?

Re:Upload? (3, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582689)

While the regulation and control of airwaves seems absurd from some viewing angles, if you think about it, someone making sure that no one interferes with anyone else is a good thing. I'm not necessarily saying that the FCC has always done a superb job, or that laws are enacted without prejudice. I'm just saying the principle is sound and good. Since airwaves do not stop at state borders, a federal agency for such is necessary. Having said that, I agree with your sentiment but also understand that Joe the plumber down the street doesn't necessarily give a shit what my reception is like so it's good to have someone to go to for mediation of conflicts. Laws help with that mediation.

Re:Upload? (0)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584517)

Imagine that everyone has Internet access,

Everyone (mostly) already does. POTS. Yes, it is becoming increasingly harder to use it, due to bloated websites, but it is there and pretty damn universal.

I know among the geekazoids in here, POTS is a dirty word. But a lot of people still use it, by choice.

What we really need (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582171)

We need to finish kicking those race-baiting, Clinton impeaching, war starting, economy ruining Republicans out of office.

Damn Reds. (5, Insightful)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582215)

Forget about it. If there's money to be made, someone's got a sniff of it and they're already lobbying harder than you ever could. (For 'harder' see 'with more assets'.)

And even if it stands that the space will not be licensed for some other commercial use, the existing bandwidth owners will lobby against it ever being given back to the public, because there is money to be made fencing people in to their existing ownership of the spectrum.

The very idea that the electromagnetic spectrum can be fenced off strikes me as ridiculous. Don't get me wrong - I'm aware of why it needs to be done. But it seems like such a short jump from there to Coca Cola declaring all rights over 'red'.

Re:Damn Reds. (1, Funny)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582245)

UPS already has Dibs on "Brown"...

Re:Damn Reds. (0, Offtopic)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582277)

And T-Mobile has "Magenta"

Re:Damn Reds. (2, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583445)

I sent a comment to the FCC about this November 4 hearing, and in short I said this: "My channel count will drop from 15 to just 3 channels, if you allow whitespace devices to broadcast on the television band." If my neighbor flips-on her whitespace-enabled Ipod next year, its broadcasts will block any television station further away that 25 miles. So instead of watching Baltimore, Philly, or Harrisburg television like I normally do, I will be limited to just the local DTV stations in little podunk Lancaster PA.

Yuck. Furthermore even if I had cable, testing has shown that my neighbor's Ipod, since he's literally just feet away, will cause interference on both the analog and digital channels.

I'm all for whitespace, but I'm NOT for destroying the existing television spectrum (channel 2 to 51). Keep the whitespace devices off the TV band.

Re:Damn Reds. (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583837)

MORE FROM ARS TECHNICA:
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081023-white-space-battle-gets-dirty-as-the-mud-flies.html [arstechnica.com]

"The broadcasters contend that adjacent channel interference would be significant even at the 40 mW level proposed by Kevin Martin. In fact, they claim that such a device would interfere with digital television signals when the viewer is 25 miles from the television tower and the whitespace device is 40 feet or less from the TV set. At 50 miles from the television tower, a whitespace device within 200 feet from a set could allegedly cause interference."

Re:Damn Reds. (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583665)

UPS already has Dibs on "Brown"

They can expect a lawsuit from south african spaceman dude any day now..

Re:Damn Reds. (2, Funny)

The Redster! (874352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582423)

In Soviet Russia, the Red has you!

Re:Damn Reds. (2, Informative)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582431)

But it seems like such a short jump from there to Coca Cola declaring all rights over 'red'.

Too late. In Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co. [ladas.com] , SCOTUS held that, "sometimes, a color will meet ordinary legal trademark requirements. And, when it does so, no special legal rule prevents color alone from serving as a trademark." They awarded trademark rights to "green-gold" to Qualitex.

But of course, the issues are very different. Even at the physical level - most matter is opaque to the visible spectrum but transparent to radio.

Re:Damn Reds. (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582919)

They awarded trademark rights to "green-gold" to Qualitex.

So the Packers pay Qualitex a royalty or somethin' to use the colors?

Re:Damn Reds. (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#25585107)

So the Packers pay Qualitex a royalty or somethin' to use the colors?

A trademark applies only in a specific field of business. That's why both Ford Motors and Ford Models can claim the mark "Ford".

Re:Damn Reds. (3, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582537)

The worst part (as mentioned in TFA): the spectrum (like many other things) is AUCTIONED. The rights are only going to end up in the hands of already-rich corporations who seek nothing but profit. No one will ever win.

Yes, the spectrum does need to be regulated - not by money - but by how it will benefit the people that use it.

Re:Damn Reds. (1, Flamebait)

thePig (964303) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584747)

Not quite.
Money drives the invisible hand, and that invisible hand does a better job of improving society than any philanthropy.

Need clarification (1, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582239)

Wouldn't there be huge amounts of interference if the spectrum was unlicensed? Could someone not just make a jammer for the frequencies in question and spoil it for everyone? Or do FCC laws cover that even when it's not formally licensed? IANAEE.

Re:Need clarification (-1, Redundant)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582441)

>>>>Wouldn't there be huge amounts of interference if the spectrum was unlicensed?

I sent a comment to the FCC about this Nov 4 hearing, and in short I said this: "My channel count will drop from 15 to just 3 channels, if you allow whitespace devices to broadcast on the television band." If my neighbor's teenaged daughter flips-on her whitespace-enabled Ipod next year, its broadcasts will block any television station further away that 25 miles. So instead of watching Baltimore, Philly, or Harrisburg television like I normally do, I will be limited to just the local DTV stations in little podunk "Amish Country" Lancaster PA.

Yuck. Furthermore even if I had cable, testing has shown the her Ipod, since her bedroom is literally just feet away, will cause interference on both the analog and digital channels.

I'm all for whitespace, but I'm NOT for destroying the existing television spectrum (channel 2 to 51). Keep the whitespace devices off the TV band.

Re:Need clarification (-1, Offtopic)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582721)

Thanks for modding me down from 2 to 1. Moderators who subtract points simply because they disagree with another user's comment should be immediately banned (imho).

I don't mind people disagreeing with me; multiple opinions is what makes this country strong. But the proper method of disagreement is to exercise your free speech via a "reply post" Not through exacting punishment (subtracting points).

Re:Need clarification (3, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583081)

Perhaps, they just read your post and realized it was mostly unsubstantiated bullshiting in the fine fashion of Microsoft/Neocon/Fox News FUD.

Perhaps, they aren't modding you down because they disagree with you but because you didn't add squat to the discussion.

Re:Need clarification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25583195)

Get this guy up to 5 please!

what idiot replies to his own post to simply complain about it being modded down.

Go read the FAQ on the mod system if you don't understand why it was setup the way it is.

Re:Need clarification (0, Flamebait)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583401)

>>>mostly unsubstantiated bullshiting

FALSE. The National Association of Broadcasters has done testing and determined that any Whitespace device within approximately 100 feet will block any TV station 25 miles away, even if the WSD is broadcasting on an adjacent channel (for example channel 16 next to WPHL17). Any WSD within 600 feet will block any TV station 50 miles away. These are the testing results that the NAB has submitted to the FCC.

Furthermore the Cable Television Coalition has submitted testing showing that any WSD within 50 feet of their service will not block the channel, but definitely will cause interference with analog or digital reception. In other words if you're trying to watch Ghost Hunters on Sci-Fi Channel, and your kid sister turns on her WS-enabled Ipod, the picture will degrade into a bunch of noise and/or macroblocking.

Google and Microsoft keep insisting this won't happen because, of course, they stand to make millions of dollars off the sale of WSDs. They have $$$ dancing in front of their eyes.

Personally I'm torn; I'm not sure which greed-mongering corporation to believe, but I do know I won't be happy to see my television plummet from 15 to just 3 channels. I've invested a LOT of money upgrading from analog-to-digital television, and I have no desire to see that ~$300 wasted.

Re:Need clarification (1)

epee1221 (873140) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583607)

Furthermore the Cable Television Coalition has submitted testing showing that any WSD within 50 feet of their service will not block the channel, but definitely will cause interference with analog or digital reception. In other words if you're trying to watch Ghost Hunters on Sci-Fi Channel, and your kid sister turns on her WS-enabled Ipod, the picture will degrade into a bunch of noise and/or macroblocking.

There's something fishy about claims of RF devices interfering with cable signals. For one thing, cable signal isn't supposed to be interacting with anything outside the coax shield. Also, have you noticed that many frequencies used for cable are already used by various licensed radio services, sometimes with quite a bit of power?

Personally I'm torn; I'm not sure which greed-mongering corporation to believe

Judging from your other posts, I'd say you've already decided.

Re:Need clarification (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583923)

External signals still "leak in" through the television or set-top box's internal receiver. My brother sees a "ghost" of local channel WGAL-8 superimposed over his cable channel 8.

And of course there are also those unterminated connections hanging out of people's walls; they act just like antennas to pick-up broadcasting transmitters (like whitespace devices).

Re:Need clarification (1)

Bloodoflethe (1058166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584705)

There are many ways of getting around this type of thing, read up on the various IEEE specs that assist in frequency saturation control. This will be an issue eventually. In general, however, it will not be, as long as the devices are programmed to use channels responsibly.

Re:Need clarification (5, Informative)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582477)

Unlicensed doesn't just mean a free for all. It would be regulated in much the same way the many existing radio services are. The new users would have to make sure they operate in such a way that the primary user is not affected in any negative way. This includes ceasing transmissions completely if necessary to avoid interference. If you violate it and a primary user complains, eventually you're going to attract attention from the FCC, and they will fine you.

Re:Need clarification (0, Redundant)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582531)

Even regulated, having a bunch of broadcasting whitespace devices "running around" in my neighborhood WILL cause me to lose any DTV stations further away than 25 miles. There will be so much interference that my channel count will drop from 15 to 3.

Re:Need clarification (2, Funny)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583031)

I also hear that with enough whitespace noise, the dead will arise and walk again. Killing and maiming the living in a never ending, ceasless desire for all to join them. Eventually we will all live in walled cities, praying for a quick death as plauge and starvation consume us from within. All because of little Suzzy's Whitespace Enabled iPod (LSWEP!).

Or maybe that was just some unsubstantiated FUD spread by someone who wanted to scare people into thinking the world was ending.

Who knows.

Re:Need clarification (1)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583203)

Don't take my comment as support for whitespace devices, I was just responding to the hypothetical "what if somebody sets up a jammer" type situation. Personally I think unlicensed use of broadcast bands like TV and even FM are a horrible idea. I can't even count the number of times I've had the NPR station I'm listening to wiped out by some jackass with an iPod and a FM transmitter cruising by in the passing lane. Unlicensed use is possible in optimal conditions, but in realistic conditions it breaks down. Manufacturers don't adhere to specs well enough and make devices that are too powerful. People use devices on channels that are already occupied. Transmitters cause noise and take out adjacent channels. The list of problems could go on and on. It seems to me there's plenty of space available on other bands to do something like this. Why not use some space allocated to UHF mobile radios? At least those users have the possibility of moving to a different channel until the interference passes.

Re:Need clarification (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583551)

>>>Manufacturers don't adhere to specs well enough and make devices that are too powerful

Or else people modify their devices to output more power. It's often as easy as just taking a screwdriver to the operational-amplifier's variable resistor & turning the screw. I've never experienced someone driving-by with the XM/Sirius transmitter turned-on, but yes I can see how that would be annoying.

>>>Why not use some space allocated to UHF mobile radios?

The FCC has already approved whitespace devices for use on channels 52 to 69 (the portion that was recently auctioned-off), but you know how it goes. Corporations like Google and Microsoft want more.

Re:Need clarification (1)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583821)

I've never experienced someone driving-by with the XM/Sirius transmitter turned-on, but yes I can see how that would be annoying.

I'm pretty sure I'm getting that for two reasons.
1) I live in a college town and have a disproportionate amount of students driving around that can't be separated from an iPod for more than five minutes. I'm fairly sure it has more to do with iPods than satellite radio since I don't actually know anybody that has a receiver for that.
2) NPR stations usually get crammed into the very bottom of the FM band, which for some reason is where most FM transmitters are set by default. Some even limit the frequencies that can be used to the bottommost five or six channels. As a result, my NPR station is more likely to be taken out by a rogue transmitter.

Re:Need clarification (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583481)

There's a lot of assumptions not being declared in your post (e.g. power and bandwidth of whitespace devices). Would you mind pointing me to the tests that determined this?

Re:Need clarification (2, Informative)

interiot (50685) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582543)

"Unlicensed" doesn't mean "unregulated". Licensed spectrum means that only one organization is in control of the spectrum, but even that doesn't prevent someone from setting up a jammer. I believe the FCC controls what radios can be sold on the market (i.e. the equipment must use this new-fangled "cognitive radio" scheme, and must hook into the FCC database of known incumbent signals), and as well, the FCC can try to locate someone who is persistently jamming.

Re:Need clarification (4, Informative)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582573)

Wouldn't there be huge amounts of interference if the spectrum was unlicensed? Could someone not just make a jammer for the frequencies in question and spoil it for everyone? Or do FCC laws cover that even when it's not formally licensed? IANAEE.

FCC Regulations, Part 15 [wikipedia.org] covers this in great detail.
Here's an excerpt from sub-section 5

If a Part 15 transmitter does cause interference to authorized radio communications, even if the transmitter complies with all of the technical standards and equipment authorization requirements in the FCC rules, then its operator will be required to cease operation, at least until the interference problem is corrected.

Here is a PDF [fcc.gov] from the FCC entitled "UNDERSTANDING THE FCC REGULATIONS FOR LOW-POWER, NON-LICENSED TRANSMITTERS", which is exactly the rules which would be applicable to the hardware used for accessing the White-Space Broadband Spectrum .

Re:Need clarification (0, Troll)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582845)

>>>then its operator will be required to cease operation, at least until the interference problem is corrected.

+1 Informative! And if the operator refuses to turn-off his Whitespace-enabled Ipod, per FCC Regulation Part 15, because it's blocking my TV viewing of WBAL-11, can I smash it to pieces? ;-)

Re:Need clarification (2, Interesting)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582869)

If a Part 15 transmitter does cause interference to authorized radio communications, even if the transmitter complies with all of the technical standards and equipment authorization requirements in the FCC rules, then its operator will be required to cease operation, at least until the interference problem is corrected.

And how well can we expect that to be enforced?

Right now, there are millions of in-car transmitters out there used for relaying satellite radio to car stereos [current.org] . They cause all sorts of interference with "authorized radio communications". But since they were only interfering with NPR broadcasts, rather than those of someone with money, rather than take serious action against XM the FCC agreed to let them send out cheap useless ferrite beads and leave it up to customers to install them.

Re:Need clarification (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582937)

From FCC.gov:

"QUIET SPOTS" (WHITE SPACES) BETWEEN STATIONS ON THE DIAL

The fact that there are locations on a radio or television tuning dial which do not receive a broadcast station does not necessarily indicate that a station can be added on that frequency. A station's signal on the same frequency or an adjacent frequency which is too distant or weak to be picked up by a radio receiver can still cause interference to other broadcast stations. For this reason, the Commission's rules require that stations located very close in frequency be located in different communities separated by some physical distance, so as to limit any potential interference.

Before it can be determined whether any "quiet spot" could support a broadcast station, the interested individual or group would need to have an engineering study performed to determine whether the frequency can actually be used. See our Information Sheet about How To Apply For A Broadcast Station.

Re:Need clarification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582611)

Someone could make a jammer now for any licensed spectrum. FCC licensing or regulations are not going to stop anyone who maliciously intends to jam signals.

As for interference, Some sort of layer 1 standard for broadcasting and layer two point-to-multipoint proctol will have to established as a standard for communicating, and then from there it would be completely open from a networking aspect.

Re:Need clarification (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582775)

It'd be like all the things we already do on unlicensed spectrum. Think 802.11b/g WiFi and 2.4 cordless phones running on overlapping frequncies. So possibly a lot of noise in heavy use areas. However, regulations specifying manufactured capabilities and use of items will still be made by the FCC, so intentional jammers will still be a no-no.

Re:Need clarification (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583991)

>>>>Wouldn't there be huge amounts of interference if the spectrum was unlicensed?

I sent a comment to the FCC about this November 4 hearing, and in short I said this: "My channel count will drop from 15 to just 3 channels, if you allow whitespace devices to broadcast on the television band." If a neighbor turns-on a WSD next year, its broadcasts will block any television station further away that 25 miles. So instead of watching Baltimore, Philly, or Harrisburg television like I normally do, I will be limited to just the local DTV stations in little podunk Lancaster PA.

Furthermore even if I had cable, testing has shown the her Ipod, since her bedroom is literally just feet away, will cause interference on both the analog and digital channels.

I'm all for whitespace, but I'm NOT for destroying the existing television spectrum (channel 2 to 51). Keep the whitespace devices off the TV band.

MORE FROM ARS TECHNICA:
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081023-white-space-battle-gets-dirty-as-the-mud-flies.html [arstechnica.com]

"The broadcasters contend that adjacent channel interference would be significant even at the 40 mW level proposed by Kevin Martin. In fact, they claim that such a device would interfere with digital television signals when the viewer is 25 miles from the television tower and the whitespace device is 40 feet or less from the TV set. At 50 miles from the television tower, a whitespace device within 200 feet from a set could allegedly cause interference."

Useful frequency? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582287)

How useful would these whitespace frequencies be at the home users end if this was used for two way internet? They aren't going to be running huge 50,000 watt towers like the TV broadcasters use. At say 5 watts (whatever/small) for the home connection "last mile" rig, will this work over long distances with hills and trees, or will it be line of sight and not much better than current wifi? I tried a service with motorola canopy wireless and it's still line of sight to a tower, any hills in the way and the signal dergrades fast to barely there or nothing.

Re:Useful frequency? (2, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582479)

will this work over long distances with hills and trees, or will it be line of sight and not much better than current wifi?

Running at less than half the frequency of WiFi, it will do considerably better at going through obstacles, but it's not LF, it's not going to travel hundreds of miles and skip of the ionosphere... You're ALWAYS going to be constrained by line of sight and the curvature of the earth.

hills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582739)

Going through obstacles and "better". Doesn't exactly answer my question on hills, although you did say it was constrained by line of sight, so back to my original comment and the answer appears to be "it won't work if a hill is in the way". Correct? It might work if just a thin tree is in the way, but a building or hill and it won't? I know now if I had such a thing as line of sight to a wifi hotspot I could theoretically have a good antenna and get it to work over many miles, but this doesn't exist here. Whereas even with hills and such, I can get a lot of normal TV and radio stations now (not perfect on the TV but good enough with the analog signals, I don't have my digital converter yet so haven't tried it, I think I may lose Tv then too next year given what I have read about it), and not in line of sight of those either, that's why I was asking the question. It looks to be barely better theoretically than existing wifi unless you are running a multi thousand watt transmitter and receiver at home, off of a huge tower. See that's the real question, we can't just say the word "rural" and have it applied equally. I lived out in flat corn country once, yep, range is greatly enhanced on radio signals in general, but even modest hills, let alone mountains, and it is a totally different story. (I just live in a "very modest hills" area now)

Re:hills (2, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583077)

Doesn't exactly answer my question on hills, although you did say it was constrained by line of sight, so back to my original comment and the answer appears to be "it won't work if a hill is in the way". Correct?

No, not correct at all.

Whether it will work or not depends on how many degrees of curvature the signal has to disperse across to go "around" the hill in question.

The higher the frequency, the less the signal will "curve" around such obstacles. With UHF being less than half the frequency of WiFi, you can expect it will do a much better job of going around hills, and any other conceivable obstacle. That should allow you to get connectivity in more spots than you otherwise would, but it's never going to work in all situations.

If you have two transceivers at opposite sides of the base of a mountain, no radio frequency is ever going to allow them to communicate directly (well, VLF will, but that's impractically slow, so let's ignore it for simplicity sake). If they have line of sight, just about any frequency will work. As the obstacle between them, blocking line-of-sight communication gets larger, lower frequencies are required to circumvent it.

Re:hills (2, Informative)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583221)

A 100 milliwatt WSD will travel about four football fields distance. If the WSD is broadcasting on VHF (channels 2-13), it won't be blocked by trees, but if it's broadcasting on UHF (channels 14-51), then trees will block the signal quite easily.

Re:Useful frequency? (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582625)

The issue of power, distance and line-of-sight are all things that are actually big parts of the debate on this.

For instance, if your internet device is in a valley between two hills, and a TV tower is broadcasting on one hill, with a tv viewer on the other, your device may not be able to determine that they're broadcasting there.

The net result is crap internet for you and you've annihilated the TV signal for the person viewing it on the other side of the valley.

Re:Useful frequency? (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582649)

Oh, and there's a good chance you'll knock out the unlicensed wireless microphone system in the church up the street.

Re:Useful frequency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25583685)

Fuck churches anyway.

What? (4, Interesting)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582315)

Seriously.. WHAT? We don't _NEED_ this to provide rural broadband. If 900mhz, 2.4ghz, 5.7Ghz, and 5.9ghz (are there more?) aren't enough, THEN YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! I'm providing rural broadband right now over both 900 and 2.4 to over 100 customers. The base package is 1Mbit/512K. Not bad if you live on a farm in Iowa if you ask me.

flatlands (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582453)

How does that work with the hills and trees in the way? I asked this up above, as I tried such a service and it didn't work, had to go back to dialup. Hills where I live on this farm, not flatlands like Iowa. Sorry but I don't know what frequency that motorola canopy based service was, I forget now, but I will assume it was one of those in your list, and the techs said no line of sight=SOL.

Re:flatlands (1)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582977)

i worked with a wISP for a while. 700mhz and 900mhz equipment can handle a surprising amount of foliage and still provide a decent connection.

however, they wont shoot straight through trees, but if foliage is in some of the lower part of the trannsmission field (called a fresnel zone) then the signal is passable.

as you get to higher frequencies, objects are more of a problem (at least as far as the canopy stuff goes). hills....well hills you cant do dick about. theyre very thick and dense, unlike scattered foliage, so they completely block the signal. anything sufficiently dense will do this.

Re:flatlands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25583095)

So far all practical purposes the only possibility for me getting any sort of broadband is one of those cellphone plans that are very expensive and very limited/or satellite? Even the upcoming "wimax", whatever frequencies that is supposed to be probably won't work if a hill is in the way?

Re:flatlands (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583641)

>>>So far all practical purposes the only possibility for me getting any sort of broadband

Why don't you call your local phone company and inquire if you can upgrade your line to DSL? They might have some requirement such as, "We need at least 10 subscribers to make it work," at which point you can round-up your neighbors and get them all to agree to join DSL. All the telephone lines are already installed; all you need is the company to install a DSLAM at the central switching office, and you're done.

My DSL costs me $15 a month; in a rural community it might cost a little bit more.

Re:What? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583743)

The base package is 1Mbit/512K. Not bad if you live on a farm in Iowa if you ask me.

Bad if you ask anyone living somewhere in Sweden, say Götebarrrrr or Karrrrrlskrona... ;)

Re:What? (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583981)

Apples and oranges.

Re:What? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583781)

That's a viable plan in Iowa, or even in Phoenix where I live (unless you live near Camelback Mountain...).

But try that plan in rural Maine, my hometown for instance. Not working. 900MHz is a struggle, and anything above 1.5G is a waste of time for rural distances. Just not happening.

This is the problem with metro wireless solutions. Real rural areas are largely hilly, forested, and unfriendly to microwave spectrum. Get down a little bit, even to 700MHz, and it all becomes so much easier. Oh, and one other thing: In most rural areas, it looks good now. Wait a few years to let the trees grow a bit. Woopsie. Ask any satellite TV guy. Getting a clean LOS today doesn't mean much. Watch out for that poplar tree over there. It will block you in 3 years. Darn. Wireless is only as much about technology as it is about terrain.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25584183)

I too am a WISP and NO! It is not enough. Lets see you push some data like 15mbit+ accounts, not just around 10mbit/sector. 700mhz is another tool in the box. 900mhz here is so screwed up from pager + power co + baby monitors + random crap that it just does not work. Join www.wispa.org and lean about areas, even rural, that have serious sharing issues with other users. Lower 2.4ghz is hams as primary = lots of power, 2.4 has STL links = lots of power, 5.2/5.3/5.4 have stupid DFS requirements making your links fail randomly (DoD radar detect) 5.8 has WMUX and other evil that hose it. Do not forget the T1/DS3 extenders that exist in 2.4/5.x also. 3.65 is WiHyped and does not deliver any more bandwidth, but does have the joys of being licensed so as to keep your interferer to just other wisps (an no one gets priority). Face it, I could come to your area and blow your network away and you have NO FCC support to stop me. Your best bet is to do a civil suit and even that has been tenuous at best so far in court. Another issue is that you do not have to use 1 link to cause the whole issue, a person could setup X number of towers and just raise the noise floor high enough that you can not operate. We need protected spectrum for WISP only use. Everyone should go to the FCC site and file a comment (hopefully in support) about this issue.

Rural Communities Could Benefit (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582321)

This could be a wonderful opportunity for loca governments to provide a service to the community at little to no increase over any existing cost. Using open source hardware & software there could be a whole network of intra-town communications systems. I'd certainly donate my time and some equipment to get this going.

And 700bn reasons why you won't get (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582425)

The current deficit and the $700bn bailout sort of ensures that this will be sold off to get ANY sort of money back into the central pot.

Freeness? (2, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582495)

When will America get it? Some things, like education, healthcare/health insurance, 911 (police, fire department, ambulance), and the internet should be offered to everyone. They're not assets, they're life essentials. Right now, they're only guaranteed to two of those and one of them (education) is fading fast.

There was once a time when the fire department was a private service - imagine what life would be like if they still had to pay for that (yes, I know we pay taxes anyways, but it's still granted for everyone). And how long are they going to treat other essentials like the internet as such?

Re:Freeness? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582651)

You are 100% correct. Everybody has a right to healthcare.

Everybody has a right to walk into a doctor's office, say "I'm sick," and expect the doctor to try to heal them.

What they do NOT have a right to do is take the bill and hand-it-off to their neighbors & force the neighbors to pay the bill. That's called theft. It's YOUR bill; YOU pay for it.

Re:Freeness? (1)

novalis112 (1216168) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583025)

I'm not going to say that health care is or is not a right, but I believe that your argument is flawed.

A right is not something that you pay for. It is something that is inherently yours and which can not be taken away from you without your consent.

When you say "Everybody has a right to health care" you imply that the health care provided does not need to be paid for. If it has to be paid for, it is not a right, it is a privilege.

Re:Freeness? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583713)

>>>you imply that the health care provided does not need to be paid for

Did you even bother to read my WHOLE post? It's clear you did not. Let me quote the relevant portion: "What they do NOT have a right to do is take the bill and hand-it-off to their neighbors & force the neighbors to pay the bill. That's called theft. It's YOUR bill; YOU pay for it."

Just the same as buying a car. You have a right to buy a Lexus; you don't have the right to make your neighbors cover the cost.

Re:Freeness? (1)

novalis112 (1216168) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583871)

If I had not read the quoted portion of your post, where would I have gotten the idea that you expect people to pay for their own health care? Anyway... You have made two *very* different statements...

There is a huge difference between saying "you have a right to buy a Lexus", and saying "you have a right to a Lexus".

If you want to say that everyone has the right to buy health care, then go ahead and say that. But as long as you state that everyone has a right to health care, it is not valid to then go on and state that they must pay for it.

Re:Freeness? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584197)

Jeez. Picky-picky.

All I meant is that you have a Right to Free Speech, and that you can direct your speech at a doctor, and request that he heal your sick body. That's it. (And I'm sure you knew perfectly well that's what I meant, even if I didn't run my language past a lawyer prior to posting.)

What you do NOT have a right to do is take you Bill, hand it to your neighbors, and force them to pay the bill. That's theft. (It's also partial enslavement.)

Re:Freeness? (1)

novalis112 (1216168) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584493)

I'm hardly being picky. When people say "everyone has a right to health care", it is accepted that they mean exactly what they are saying. Everyone should be cured of all life threatening illness/injury, regardless of their income or lack thereof. If you want to disagree with them, just go ahead and do it! Be bold, make a statement! "I DO NOT believe that everyone has a right to health care!"

Re:Freeness? (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25585125)

Jeez. Picky-picky.

(And I'm sure you knew perfectly well that's what I meant, even if I didn't run my language past a lawyer prior to posting.)

I used to get mad at people who picked at my semantics. Now I understand that anyone who is not psychic has a chance of misunderstanding any communication, even if it is couched in the correct terminology. If you want to use your Free Speech to its fullest potential, learn to speak the language properly, to reduce the chance of a recipient misinterpreting your meaning. This entire thread, based on your initial post, could have been avoided if you had made yourself clear from the beginning.

I'm not attacking you, by the way. I'm just trying to give you a better understanding of why choosing your words carefully is more important than you apparently think, and show some support for someone who evidently understands very well the point I'm attempting to make.

I cheerfully await my off-topic mods, while hoping that I have helped someone to increase their knowledge through my efforts.

--
"It's not enough to merely question authority. You have to speak with it, too." - Taylor Mali

Re:Freeness? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584215)

By that line of reasoning, everyone should have a "free" (taxpayer funded) printing press and gun.

Re:Freeness? (1)

novalis112 (1216168) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584607)

Not in the least. The amendments which you are referring to state that the government should protect your right to freedom of expression, and your right to bear arms. Neither amendment stipulates that the government must fund either of these endeavors.

When people refer to a "universal health care system" they are referring to a (typically government sponsored) program which ensures that everyone has the *means* to *acquire* health care.

Re:Freeness? (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583661)

You are 100% correct. Everybody has a right to healthcare.

Everybody has a right to walk into a doctor's office, say "I'm sick," and expect the doctor to try to heal them.

What they do NOT have a right to do is take the bill and hand-it-off to their neighbors & force the neighbors to pay the bill. That's called theft. It's YOUR bill; YOU pay for it.

And everyone in the world agrees with that till they get sick.

Till they get sick and look at their bill and realize they are paying $50 for an aspirin pill.

Till they get sick and look at their bill and realize that the reason they are paying $50 for an aspirin pill is because the hospital has to pay for the hundred million dollar piece of equipment they use to diagnose people.

Till they get sick and look at their bill and realize that the reason they are paying $50 for an aspirin pill is because the hospital has to pay for the hundred million dollar piece of equipment because the medical equipment company to cover the cost of research and development.

Till they realize that the moment they got the bill they were already paying for every other patient in that hospital and in the nation.

At which point they normally realize that your argument is full of bullshit and the only real difference between a socialized system and what we have is at least a socialized system allows to you to get out from under your medical bills should you ever get a real sickness.

About a decade ago, a friend of mine got the news that her father had just been diagnosed with cancer. He owned his own construction company, he and his wife had a nice home on the outskirts of the town they lived in. He wasn't a millionaire but it'd be hard to call him poor.

After three years of fighting it he couldn't pay for his treatments and but he was still too 'rich' to qualify for assistance. He was too proud to rack up a debt that wouldn't be paid off so before he died, he watched as almost everything he built and saved for his daughter was sold off to pay for his medical bills. His business, his home, his legacy for his daughter.

In the last month of his life, his wife was diagnosed with MS. She killed herself rather than be treated because she was afraid there would be nothing left but debt to pass along to their daughter.

The healthy can talk all the bullshit they want about paying your own way. Get sick in America and realize how expensive it actually is before you start condemning the rest of the world for considering heathcare something that should be extended to everyone without the specter of having your entire life afterwards destroyed by debt.

Re:Freeness? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584255)

>>>And everyone in the world agrees with that till they get sick.

Even if I was laying on my deathbed, I would NOT steal money from my neighbor. I'm going to die anyway, whether it's now at age 60, or later at age 70. The end point (coffin) is not changing and there's no point trying to fight the inevitable destination.

But if I steal money from my neighbor, and force them to pay my doctor's bill, well, that could have dramatic consequences. Like eternal damnation.

Re:Freeness? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584707)

If he was so successful, why didn't he have a health insurance plan? Why do others have to pay for his lack of foresight?

Re:Freeness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582661)

The internet is not an essential service, sorry it's just not. Don't even try that.

There are plenty of people who use all of those and have no need what-so-ever for the internet. It shouldn't be free anymore than telephone service or cable tv is free.

Re:Freeness? (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582773)

Why stop there? I mean, for how long are they going to keep life essentials like a personal yacht and 24/7 Swedish hooker from everyone? How about iPods? Fuck!

It's just disgraceful, all those rich fellas ought to contribute back some of their profits to society. ;-)

Re:Freeness? (1)

BigGar' (411008) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583097)

Yes, or to put it succinctly:
To each according to their need.
From each according to their ability.

Karl Marx

Re:Freeness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582793)

What's this about America?

What other country offers internet access as a public service?

I support putting it off till next year (1)

ourcraft (874165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582503)

A net neutrality supporting President will be very very helpful in bringing this forward.

When you think of the number of things that will benefit from a Administration that understands what the stakes are, who support competition and diversity in the media, who oppose concentration, who understand regulation as a protection from overbearing behemoths, its exciting to be waiting.

Re:I support putting it off till next year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25582571)

When you think of the number of things that will benefit from a Administration that understands what the stakes are, who support competition and diversity in the media, who oppose concentration, who understand regulation as a protection from overbearing behemoths, its exciting to be waiting.

Yes, I am as eager as you are for the excitement of finally seeing a McCain administration.

This is nonsense. (3, Informative)

chaboud (231590) | more than 5 years ago | (#25582983)

While I love the idea of free and open internet communication (unlikely if we farm this out to Google and Microsoft), if they plan on using the performances they've seen in FCC tests as the benchmark, you can expect even your cable TV to cut out. I absolutely love the concept, but the simple fact is that current versions of these devices don't work, and Kevin Martin is for sale [wikipedia.org] .

I'd put $50 on him ending up at Google or Microsoft within a year of leaving the FCC. Anyone who talks with the people who were at the white-space device tests knows that these devices failed miserably. If you think the iPhone (or any GSM phone, honestly) next to your speakers is annoying, just wait for these puppies.

Wireless Audio Devices (2, Informative)

graphiteman (559645) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583057)

Stories like this one make my head spin. For some reason, people simply can't seem to get the engineering issues through their heads.

Prototype devices tested by the FCC earlier this summer were shown to be capable of detecting Digital TV stations. However, they were not even close to capable of detecting wireless audio devices such as microphones, in-ear monitors, wireless intercom systems, and IFB devices. You may not realize it, but these devices are all around you, and chances are, they are mission-critical devices for television stations (think about reporters in the field), theatres (from your local high school to The Phantom on Broadway), professional sports (almost all professional sports games use copious amounts of wireless intercom and microphones), houses of worship (if you go to church, chances are you are in the vicinity of wireless microphones), concerts (almost all concerts rely on wireless microphones and in-ear monitors these days), and many other people.

All it takes is one single white space device to fire up on top of one of these wireless audio devices to knock it off the air, and there is no good solution - we cannot go digital, because of power and fidelity concerns; we cannot go to another band, because there are no real options (and because of the cost - it would cost my theater $50,000 to refit our space); and we cannot simply go "off the air."

Let us be clear as well about who will be using these white space devices. They will NOT be used to provide rural broadband (as one person noted above, this need is already covered by 900 MHz devices), at least in the beginning. The first devices to market will be gadgets like the iPhone that everyone will see as a "must have." It will work like Wi-Fi, but will cause far more interference because it will be everywhere - in church, in the theatre, and at the game.

All of this is not to say that it is impossible for white space devices to work together with wireless audio devices. All that is required is for white space devices to not transmit on top of a wireless audio device. In the future, wireless audio devices may be able to avoid other devices by themselves, but for now white space devices must bear the burden of not causing harmful interference to other users of the space (some of which are currently not licensed, and some of which are actually LICENSED for operating in the TV band!) But this is an engineering challenge, and not a political one. Let us hope that the FCC realizes this, and listens to its own engineers - and not politicians, lobbyists, and naysayers.

Examine the premises (2, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25583287)

1) Spectrum being freed up.

No. No spectrum is freed up by switching from analog to digital. A digital station takes up 6Mhz, same as an analog station. It's true that the FCC has relaxed adjacent channel restrictions, but any spectrum freed by that is balanced by the loss of channels 52-69, which have already been auctioned off. There's no truly free high-VHF or UHF slot between New York and Baltimore; spectrum's full.

2) WSDs being able to detect stations

For a WSD to reliably detect another transmitter, it would have to be as sensitive and have as good an antenna as the intended reciever. What are the chances of that, particularly in a portable device? Sure, your little iAndroZune with its 2" stub can't detect the channel, but my purpose-built TV tuner with a 10dBi antenna could pick it up fine... or it could, until the iAndroZune started stepping all over it.

3) Won't interfere even assuming it finds a white space
The front-end filters on TV tuners have about a 5-channel passband. A strong signal anywhere in there can cause the RF amp to overload or force the AGC to cut in and thus desensitize the tuner. One of the FCCs own studies showed it could be cause up to 70dB of sensitivity loss on adjecent channels, which makes the difference between very good reception and none at all. Furthermore, those of us using a pre-amp to receive weaker stations don't have the benefit of front-end filtering; a white space device anywhere in the band can cause problems throughout the band. Note that some of those little USB stick tuners don't have front-end filtering either.

Free the airwaves (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584031)

There are very good reasons to allow public use of white space. Internet access prices should drop, wifi should become more widespread, and there's the tasty idea of mobile phone calls (at least local) becoming FREE, since they will communicate *directly* with each other.

Google are in fact in favour, and have created a website here [freetheairwaves.org] . They sum it up pretty well.

Tell me where broadcasters are (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584403)

and get me my thick stick. ill talk to them in a language they can understand

License = limited monopoly (2, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25584445)

Licensing is not free market. licensing doesnt bolster competition. it creates a limited monopoly for those corporations who were able to buy those licenses.

imagine roads were privatized. imagine 10 companies bought roads, and used them as they wished, and charged anyone using them anything they wished.

do you think we would be in the level we are today as a civilization ?

we wouldnt.

there are some things, venues that need to be open to everyone, for anything, SO THAT competition, free market CAN happen.

FCC should vote totally in favor of this free spectrum. its necessary for betterment of mankind, leave aside internet access in a few locales.

Amateur radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25584985)

Wouldn't mind having it licensed for HAM radio.

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