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

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

Also going the court route were ESPN, sports leagues, and Broadway theater
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.