Third White Spaces bill coming soon?

TV Technology is reporting that yet another bill to allow unlicensed devices into unused TV broadcast channels is in development on Capitol Hill. A staff member for Rep. Jay Inslee’s (D-Wash.) confirmed that the congressman likely would introduce his own white space bill “in the coming weeks.”

This isn’t Inslee’s first crack at white spaces legislation and it reminds us of one our personal favorite biblical proverbs: As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

Inslee’s last crack at white spaces was last April when he co-sponsored the “American Broadband for Communities Act” (HR5085) along with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-OH), and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA).

That bill stated that “any unused broadcast television spectrum in the band between 54 and 698 megaHertz, inclusive, other than spectrum in the band between 608 and 614 megaHertz, inclusive, may be used by unlicensed devices, including wireless broadband devices.”

At the time of that bill Inslee stated in a release: “For too long, we’ve let this high-potential spectrum go to waste… We now have the technology to put it to good use and leave current users unaffected.”

The bill contemplated the use smart radio technology, that listens first to determine what spectrum is not being used. Uses would include both low power personal portable devices, such as PC cards, and higher powered fixed location devices, such as the wireless broadband internet access base stations.

As for the new bill, TV Technology says Capitol Hill sources said the early draft of the bill set forth no interference protection for the 2,150 or so licensed low-power TV stations or 5,000 TV translators in the country. It was also said to eschew protections for wireless mics. However, the bill is still a work in process, the staff member said. “The language has not been finalized,” said the staffer.

Sounds like a perfect reason to call Inslee’s office and let him know that White Spaces aren’t so white and this legislation is a bad idea for the entire entertainment community and any politician who likes to use wireless mics during town hall meetings.

He has a few of them so try them all:
Shoreline, WA: (206) 361-0233
Pousbro, WA: (360) 598-2342
Washington, DC: (202) 225-6311