Cisco's War on White Space Broadband
If They Can't Develop the Technology...No One Can
The last few years have seen no limit of often ridiculous efforts to try and shelve white space broadband, which uses the unlicensed spectrum vacated by the shift to digital television for a new wireless broadband technology. Those efforts have largely involved broadcasters using celebrities like Dolly Parton
and cartoon characters
to overstate the technology's interference potential. Public Knowledge Legal Director Harold Feld has a long but interesting read
on how Cisco has been waging war on white space broadband for years, in large part because they missed the boat in terms of bringing comperable technology to market:
Bluntly, Cisco missed the boat on TVWS and has no product in the pipeline. As a result, it faces a bunch of potentially powerful new entrants armed with a super-charged version of its current wi-fi product. By the time Cisco, currently the leading provider of wi-fi equipment, gets its own white spaces product in place, it will have lost significant market share to the new "super wi-fi" (as TVWS is popularly called) routers marketed by the likes of Microsoft and Google. So Cisco is working hard to make sure TVWS has no future, and along the way pick up some additional unlicensed spectrum that fits much more nicely with its existing business model.
White Space broadband's march to market has been glacial, though back in September the FCC started testing
the database system they've created that will allow devices to check for nearby interference.
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I know how to solve this problem Just give this white space to hamradio operators we will make good use of it.
Horse hockey! I am a broadcast engineer (radio and TV) with over 30 years of experience. White space as authorized can co-exist nicely with broadcast TV! The NAB and TV stations HATE anything that could possibly affect the status quo.
If you really want to know the big problem with broadcast TV, it's the fact that today's HDTV sets are NUMB!! They need signals in excess of 5 mV at their antenna terminals to even display a picture. Want proof? Try this: Take your old DTV converter and compare it to your TV set. You'll likely find that the converter picks up twice as many signals as the TV set. AND this was done ON PURPOSE! The first generation DTV sets had VERY sensitive tuners, so sensitive that with even a simple outdoor antenna they could easily pick up DTV signals from 75 miles away or more. Indeed, my friend who lived in Manchester, NH on a small hill had a rotor antenna so he could pick up the analog Boston stations well. When he hooked it to his (early generation) HDTV set, not only could he receive Boston perfectly, but could also get Providence, RI and Portland, ME DTV stations, DTV stations from Springfield, MA and even some Albany, NY DTV stations! With his new LCD HDTV on the same antenna, Boston doesn't even come in that well-and none of the others do at all.
The broadcasters got all upset with this, because it meant that viewers could watch TV stations from other markets/cities, diluting the local viewership.
The broadcasters whined to the FCC who required the manufacturers to make RF numb TV sets. My set is so numb that when I lived on a hill in Los Angeles I could not pick up channels 9 and 11 (WB and Fox) with amplified rabbit ears on an outside wall in a window-even though I could see the transmitting antennas from Mount Wilson, 15 air miles away THROUGH the window!. Yet the Zenith DTV converter in my kids room on an inside wall picked them up just fine with nothing but a 2 foot piece of wire stuck in the F connector's hole and dangling behind the TV.
Re: Horse hockey! I own three generations of digital TVs, two CECBs and several PC tuners. The newer tuners are definitely better. 5th and 6th gen address one of the biggest problems - multipath. You should know that multipath is a far bigger problem than signal strength ever is, especially in urban environments.
Signal strength is not as big an issue.
My biggest problem with white space devices is who gets to decide what a white space is. I have a death ray (16 bay bowtie + 10element VHF yagi) plus a super low noise LNA (PHEMT) just to get the big four in my DMA. On the ground there is hardly any signal to work with, so I will get clobbered by local white space devices because for all intents and purposes there are Lots of white spaces here.
Yes I have cable but after Irene and the freak october snow storm I had no TV except OTA broadcast. Cable goes out 30 mins after power goes out.
Re: White Space Devices will not happen on consumer level
said by DaveRickmers:I agree with you-at least for the first few years, the cost of these units will be very expensive due to the technology involved, the need to have a built in GPS, the ongoing cost of maintaining the database, etc.
They will be used for rural ISP, backhaul, etc.