FCC Asks Court to Wait on White Spaces
Commission first wants to review petitions to reconsider or change its ruling on use of unlicensed devices
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/3/2009 12:46:00 PM
The FCC has asked the court to hold off on deciding the white spaces issue until after it considers petitions to reconsider or change it.
The FCC received the petitions from a number of parties including the cable industry, but not the National Association of Broadcasters and the Association for Maximum Service Television, which took the FCC's initial decision decision straight to court, precluding them from also filing petitions for reconsideration with the FCC.
NBA and MSTV jointly filed a petition earlier this month with the federal court of appeals for the D.C. Circuit, their preferred venue, to hold unlawful, vacate and set aside its decision last fall to allow mobile, unlicensed devices to share the so-called "white spaces" between DTV channels, a move opposed by lobbies for both those constituencies.
Also going the court route were ESPN, sports leagues, and Broadway theater owners concerned primarily about interference to wireless mikes that also share the band.
According to Media Access Project's Andrew Schwartzman, who was familiar with the FCC filing, asking courts to hold off until petitions are reconsidered is standard practice, though one the FCC deviated from with the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership challenge.
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