NAB Cites Yet More 'White Spaces' Doubters

Reps. Tancredo, Shays Add Letters to FCC’s Mailbag

The National Association of Broadcasters continues to collect letters from legislators to the Federal Communications Commission concerned about allowing unlicensed mobile devices to use so-called white spaces (the NAB calls them "interference zones") between digital-TV channels.

The latest, according to the NAB, came from Republican House members Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Christopher Shays of Connecticut.

The thrust of that and other letters broadcasters have been soliciting through a lobbying blitz on the Hill over the issue emphasize the potential interference threat, suggesting that the FCC either not proceed until it can assure broadcasters that the proposed spectrum-seeking devices work, which broadcaster argued is a virtual impossibility, or recommend licensing the mobile devices, or allowing only fixed devices, which the NAB does not oppose.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin and Democratic commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, who are often on opposite sides, are in agreement that there should be a technological fix that allows the unlicensed mobile devices, like personal digital assistants and laptops, to operate in the band without interfering with DTV reception, but so far, FCC tests have not demonstrated that.

The FCC called for a second round of testing. Meanwhile, the NAB continued to point to the swelling mailbag of concerned legislators.