Microsoft Wants to Manage TV White Spaces
WASHINGTON: Microsoft now wants to manage a database of
television white spaces. The Federal Communications Commission today opened a
docket on a proposal from the software powerhouse. Microsoft was not among nine
entities conditionally designated by the FCC in January to manage white spaces.
It was, however, integral in the campaign to open that spectrum for unlicensed
use, and provided prototype devices to the FCC for testing. White spaces refer to the frequencies that lie between TV signals to
prevent adjacent-channel interference.
“We intend to consider designating Microsoft as a TV bands database
administrator,” the FCC’s
The purpose of the databases is to provide a reference for the unlicensed
devices now being authorized to use white spaces. Devices must ping a database
to make sure frequencies aren’t occupied by licensed users. Full- and low-power
TV stations, broadcast auxiliary point-to-point facilities, private land mobile
and commercial radio service operations on Chs. 14-20, and offshore
radiotelephone services are protected.
“The database also will be used to register the locations of fixed TV bands
devices and the protected locations and channels of incumbent services that are
not recorded in commission databases,” the Notice states
The commission issued its call for white-space database managers in November of
2009. Nine responded, and all nine were conditionally designated in late
January. The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology has held two workshops
since then on the operation of the databases. The commission’s Notice said
Microsoft representatives attended both. The company filed its
FCC OET chief Julius Knapp April 18.
Comments are due on Microsoft’s proposal May 20, 2011. Reply comments are due
May 31. The proposal is filed in the white-space docket, No. 04-186.
The original nine designees included Google, Comsearch, Neustar, Key Bridge
Global, KB Enterprises, Frequency Finder, WSdB LLC, Spectrum Bridge and
Telecordia. All applicants will be subject to a 45-day trial period.
~ Deborah D. McAdams
For more details about the nine
applicants, see . . .
January 27, 2011: “TV White Space
Database Managers Named”
“We intend to exercise strong oversight of the TV bands databases and
administrators,” the FCC order said. The commission’s Office of Engineering and
Technology will hold mandatory workshops for the designees on how to comply
with database rules. Each individual database will be subject to a 45-day trial
before it goes live--longer if the FCC finds problems.