SVG, Sports Leagues, NCAA File White Space Comments

The Sports Technology Alliance” composed of the Sports Video Group, MLB, NASCAR, the NBA, the NCAA, the NFL, the NHL, and the PGA Tour” today filed comments with the FCC urging the FCC not to proceed with the White Space order announced.

The FCC currently plans to hold a vote on Nov. 4 to allow unlicensed consumer devices into White Space spectrum beginning as early as February.

“First, the Commission has announced that it will authorize spectrum sensing technology that is clearly not ready for prime time,” states the filing. “The Commission’s own engineers and data fail to demonstrate that the technology works better than 50% of the time in a real-world environment and in many cases failed miserably. We therefore request that the Commission not authorize the demonstrably unreliable technology of spectrum sensing as a basis for permitting the production of potentially millions of interference generating devices.

“Second,” the filing continues, “The Commission appears to be rushing toward a decision based on the results of field tests, including field tests at the NFL FedEx facility. We strongly believe that the Commission should allow interested parties an adequate opportunity to review, analyze, and comment on this important report and conclusions drawn from its laboratory and field testing before it brings its proposed order to a vote before the Commission.”

The filing concludes with a proactive look to the future, even if the FCC votes to move forward with White Space devices. “The STA believes that it is possible to protect wireless microphones and related wireless technology from interference by requiring all new devices to be geolocated and managed by a dynamic database that identifies protected wireless microphone frequencies in each local television market and on a per event basis. To this end, we support the approach outlined by Shure Incorporated that endeavors to find a balanced means of protecting wireless microphone operations while allowing new devices to share the same spectrum.”

Included in the Shure approach is a request for six channels, four UHF and two VHF, to be set aside for wireless-microphone use. Low-power personal/portable devices would be restricted with specified dynamic-frequency selection (DFS) parameters and smart wireless-microphone beacons would be used for large users (one beacon per venue).