CE Makers Push Interference Protections


A number of consumer electronics companies have written Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) to express reservations about allowing unlicensed wireless devices to operate in the so-called "white spaces" between channels in the broadcast spectrum band.

The letter was submitted to the committee as part of a March 14 hearing on the white-space issue.

The companies don't oppose the two bills, which would open up the band to those devices, and express "keen interest" in the potential of the devices to facilitate broadband deployment. Not a surprising stance, since they have a potential market in both the devices that could interfere with DTV sets and set-tops, and in the DTV sets and set-tops that could be interfered with.

Their reservations center on that potential interference.

"As a matter of science and engineering, there is no question that the potential exists for interference from unlicensed wireless devices," they told Stevens, who introduced one of the unlicensed wireless bills himself, in part to boost broadband in his very rural state of Alaska.

The companies asked that any bill require that the devices not cause interference, and put "the burden of meeting the non-interference requirement" on "the proponent of the unlicensed wireless product." Both bills address interference, but the companies want to make sure that the protections are strong.

They also ask that channels 2 through 4 be protected, since set-tops operate in that range. One of the bills excludes those channels, the other does not, or at least did not when it was introduced several weeks ago.

The technological Who's Who of signatories to the letter included Thomson, LG Electronics, Hitachi, Samsung, Panasonic, JVC and Sony.