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Google Praises White Space Vote
While NAB promises the fight has only just begun....
by Karl Bode 08:56AM Wednesday Nov 05 2008
Google co-founder Larry Page recently dubbed white space broadband technology "Wi-Fi on steroids," and declared that he was "100 percent confident" that white space broadband is inevitable. That prediction grew one step closer yesterday with the FCC's unanimous vote (pdf) to allow the use of white space spectrum for wireless broadband (despite the best efforts of NAB and Dolly Parton). Page celebrates over at the Google blog:
quote:
And it is wonderful that the FCC has adopted the same successful unlicensed model used for Wi-Fi, which has resulted in a projected 1 billion Wi-Fi chips being produced this year. Now that the FCC has set the rules, I'm sure that we'll see similar growth in products to take advantage of this spectrum. As an engineer, I was also really gratified to see that the FCC decided to put science over politics. For years the broadcasting lobby and others have tried to spread fear and confusion about this technology, rather than allow the FCC's engineers to simply do their work.
NAB yesterday quickly issued a press release proclaiming that the fight was only just beginning. NAB also argued, despite the fact that the use of this spectrum has been under consideration and open discussion for nearly six years, that the Commission "appears to have bypassed meaningful public or peer review in a proceeding of grave importance to the future of television." Despite findings to the contrary by FCC engineers, NAB continues to argue that the technology could interfere with TV service, though fear of broadcast competition is likely a stronger motivator.

Motorola, who has been working on white space devices, obviously took a more cheerful tone in a statement issued to the media. "The FCC has taken a significant step to usher in a new era of technology allowing for major investments in innovative wireless broadband, education, and government/enterprise applications to spur economic development." said Moto exec Greg Brown. "Motorola looks forward to developing products to market that will help consumers realize the full potential of the TVWS including the opportunity to make broadband access, as well as other communication services, available to millions of underserved Americans."

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pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1

Time Line

So what is the timeline for devices to start showing up in the consumer market? Can the NAB or Shure block implementation?
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Time Line

said by pende_tim:

So what is the timeline for devices to start showing up in the consumer market? Can the NAB or Shure block implementation?
Lawsuits will be coming.
JSM88

join:2000-12-20
Falls Church, VA

Re: Time Line

But but but... I thought Trial Lawyers were evil TK? You and your repu colleagues keep telling me so. We have to STOP them. I got it, we'll take away the right of companies to sue the federal government, sovereign immunity and all that, that will cut down on these frivolous suits. Thanks for the idea.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA
said by FFH:

Lawsuits will be coming.
Maybe not just yet. Hillary Rodham Clinton may still have something to say about implementation. What cabinet post do you suppose Obama will offer her, Attorney General maybe?

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Time Line

said by Sammer:

said by FFH:

Lawsuits will be coming.
Maybe not just yet. Hillary Rodham Clinton may still have something to say about implementation. What cabinet post do you suppose Obama will offer her, Attorney General maybe?
She won't leave the Senate to work for Obama.
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nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD

NAB

No Alternative Broadband
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

OET is not independent!

Yesterday the head of the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology Lab seemed to be very nervous during his presentation. Afterwards FCC Commissioners inappropriately and disrespectfully joked about giving out his home phone number. It seems that in recent years the FCC Commissioners can get any result they want from the OET.

funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6

Re: OET is not independent!

He was nervous because he lost his place after page 1 of his presentation.

Also, this was one of the most-watched, heavily-scrutinized processes that the FCC has followed in recent years. And after all was said and done (and redone, and watched), the NAB and microphone folks made it clear that the science didn't matter.

The joke was a joke. The disrespect was part of the punchline. Don't take humor seriously.
--
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- Hillsboro, Oregon
More features, more fun, Join BroadbandReports.com, it's free...
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

Re: OET is not independent!

I can tell when someone is treated as a subordinate (by more than one of the Commissioners) rather than as a respected independent engineer!

funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6

Re: OET is not independent!

I detected nothing but fondness. While I haven't met the engineer, I've met the commissioner.

DavePR

join:2008-06-04
Canyon Country, CA
said by funchords:

...the NAB and microphone folks made it clear that the science didn't matter.
The science says it won't work. Read the engineering study before you make these pronouncements. The FCC decision was 100% political.

funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6

Re: OET is not independent!

Dave, I read the study (it's about an inch thick).

DavePR

join:2008-06-04
Canyon Country, CA

Re: OET is not independent!

Are you an RF engineer?

The test results do not support any conclusion other than that a device that relies on sensing alone cannot work.

Devices that use geolocation and database access can avoid stepping on incumbent users, but only if they consult the database before turning on; and only if the database is maintained in real time.

Two questions: How would the device know where it is? How would the device access the database without transmitting?

funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6

Re: OET is not independent!

said by DavePR:

Are you an RF engineer?
Just an experienced ham with plenty of tech experience in VHF and UHF public-safety communications systems as well.

said by DavePR:

The test results do not support any conclusion other than that a device that relies on sensing alone cannot work.
Which doesn't conflict with the FCC's order! The FCC didn't accept equipment relying on sensing alone.

said by DavePR:

Devices that use geolocation and database access can avoid stepping on incumbent users, but only if they consult the database before turning on; and only if the database is maintained in real time.

Two questions: How would the device know where it is? How would the device access the database without transmitting?
Anything that's going to the field will have to be FCC-accepted so it will have to demonstrate that complies with the order.

You do know we're not the only country doing this, right?
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DavePR

join:2008-06-04
Canyon Country, CA

Re: OET is not independent!

I hope you're right. I'm hearing a rumor that each device will be individually addressable so conceivably they can be turned off if they are causing interference.

I do wireless for TV. I am one of the incumbent users. Worst case for me is that we confiscate electronics at the entrance to the venue. My real fear is for OTA TV. That is my preferred way to watch HD. Cable and/or DBS is way too compressed.

This isn't an inch thick, but it's good place to start. Charley Rhodes knows his stuff. Read all his papers regarding the crap tuners in DTV receivers, and the fact the FCC assumed much better tuners when they passed out post-transition frequencies. This whole thing may crash and burn next President's Day night, even without these mythical White Space Devices.

»www.tvtechnology.com/article/18180

73 de kd6il

phoneboy3

@shawcable.net

Probably a couple years

I would not expect to see any sort of deployments for at least 2 years. Probably more for business/political reasons than technical.

They will probably want to get this standardized asap but that will take time. Nothing stopping people from deploying proprietary systems in the mean time though.

This is a big deal for underserved communities and ultimately gives us more choice so it's a win win for consumers IMHO.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

Re: Probably a couple years

said by phoneboy3 :

This is a big deal for underserved communities and ultimately gives us more choice so it's a win win for consumers IMHO.
"The Devil is in the details." While this may prove ideal for some rural areas, "not just WiFi on steroids but on amphetamines" (both references to drug abuse) could mean things could get real ugly in RF congested urban and suburban areas.

MrMoody
Free range slave
Premium
join:2002-09-03
Smithfield, NC

Free TV, we hardly knew ye

Before quality, free TV can barely get out of the gate, they kill it off in a mad rush to get it done before the party change. The cablecos (not to mention DBS, ATT & VZ) should be gleeful, they just defeated a huge threat to their TV business.

For those who think I'm spewing FUD, here's some math with references. First of all I will state that I am a licensed radio amateur who had to pass tests on radio theory and propagation to get my license. I know what a dB is and how to do math with it.

In my neighborhood, the average house interval is 180 ft. I've lived in other, modern places where it was less than half that, and older neighborhoods where it was only about 40 ft. Depending on neighbors' antenna and WSD positioning within each house, the distance between them could easily get down well under 20 ft.

But we'll use my 180 ft. as an example.

The ATSC standard recommends a receiver sensitivity of -83 dBm. In my experience, getting a usable signal requires better than -83 dBm field strength at the antenna. The gain of the antenna roughly equals the losses in the cables and tuner noise. Below that level, the signal becomes unreliable and starts glitching frequently in a most annoying manner, or won't appear at all.

My IN-MARKET PBS station is about 50 miles away, and arrives at my antenna at a strength of about -80 dBm according to the signal calculator at www.tvfool.com. Their estimates are a little optimistic due to not counting obstructions such as trees. This signal I would rate at 90% reliable; it works fine most of the time but occasionally glitches out when the wind blows and at other random times.

According to tests performed by the Communications Research Centre Canada(PDF), consumer DTV receivers can only tolerate an adjacent channel signal 31-40 dB above the desired signal before failing. By the way, the WIA conveniently ignores these tests and instead relies on tests they funded themselves.

Going back to my example, after the transition, PBS will transmit on UHF 25 and arrive here at a strength of -74.7 dBm. According to the above, any signal on 24 or 26 at a level above -44 dBm is increasingly likely to interfere with consumer receivers.

Now assume my neighbor gets a WSD which finds channel 24 (centered at 539 MHz) to be available. The WIA claims that 100mW won't interfere with adjacent channels. So, we plug in some numbers in to the online Friis Transmission Equation Calculator. The receive antenna gain is irrelevant because it applies equally to the desired and interfering signals.

The result: Using a built-in WSD antenna gain of 0 dBi, we get a strength at 180 ft. away of -41.8 dBm. Subtract, and this would exceed my PBS signal by 32.9 dB, enough to interfere with some receivers. If the desired signal was at -80 (still within FCC reception spec), it would interfere with ALL receivers tested. Make the WSD closer, or FCC forbid, connect it to an antenna with GAIN (any old consumer UHF TV antenna will do, which the WSD users will QUICKLY discover increases their range tremendously), and now it is CERTAIN to wipe out low-strength adjacent channels on virtually ANY consumer receiver.

Any questions?

In order to truly prevent adjacent channel interference, either (1) they'd have to disable adjacent channels, which would leave very few channels available most places, or (2) limit the power so that the level at the neighbor's TV antenna is -52 dBm (-83 minimum signal plus 31 interference level) or less; at a generous neighbor distance of 60 ft. this works out to under 1 mW(!) AND there would have to be no way to increase power or connect an external antenna to it. Good luck with that one.

Ah well, unless the new FCC stops this madness, which truly has little value as broadband as I've already argued previously, I guess in a couple years I will be buying wireless mics to "stake claim" to my TV reception channels by bumping off the sensing WSDs. And the airwave pollution war begins.
--
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rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA

Re: Free TV, we hardly knew ye

airwaves pollution keeps the fcc in bussiness. why wouldnt they want that.

anon12

@direcpc.com
yea yea yea who cares you could have saved yourself a lot of time typing.its been voted in and time for you to shut the hell up,and just wait and see how good,or bad it works

MrMoody
Free range slave
Premium
join:2002-09-03
Smithfield, NC

Re: Free TV, we hardly knew ye

said by anon12 :

you could have saved yourself a lot of time typing.
Thank you for your concern, but don't worry, it wasn't time wasted. I kept a copy to mail in writing to the new chairman when he takes office.
--
"It is absurd to say that our country can issue $30 million in bonds and not $30 million in currency. Both are promises to pay, but one promise fattens the usurers and the other helps the people."-Thomas Edison

anan12

@direcpc.com

Re: Free TV, we hardly knew ye

surely you don't think he will give a crap about you opinion

GeekJedi
RF is Good For You
Premium
join:2001-06-21
Mukwonago, WI
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·CenturyLink

Re: Free TV, we hardly knew ye

Yes, Mr. Anonymous troll, he will.

This is far from a done deal. There will be hearings and lawsuits, and if I were a bettin' man, I'd be betting that just like the BPL debacle, this will go away.
--
The goal of the broadcast engineer is to get all the meters on the transmitter to go as far to the right as possible!!

anon12

@direcpc.com

Re: Free TV, we hardly knew ye

said by GeekJedi:

Yes, Mr. Anonymous troll, he will.

This is far from a done deal. There will be hearings and lawsuits, and if I were a bettin' man, I'd be betting that just like the BPL debacle, this will go away.
excuse me IM a troll because i have a wait and see attitude.you all want to shoot everything down before you even know how good or bad it will work.if that makes me a troll then so be it at least IM a little bit optimistic which is something that cant be said about you and moody

DavePR

join:2008-06-04
Canyon Country, CA

Re: Free TV, we hardly knew ye

The FCC engineers proved it won't work, which was massaged into "proof of concept" by politicians. If you read their paper you'll see that. The numbers don't add up.

The only device that detected broadcast stations 100% was the one that used the FCC database, not spectrum sensing. Now we're talking about a box with GPS and internet access, that will not transmit until it knows where it is and can download a file from the internet without transmitting. Will it have to have a phone line?

Google needs to be slapped down. They do plenty of evil.

phoneboy3

@shawcable.net
This is NOT the same as BPL. The important distinction is that this works.

anon12

@direcpc.com
FYI bpl is still being used,it hasn't all gone away yet
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

3 edits
said by MrMoody:

Ah well, unless the new FCC stops this madness, which truly has little value as broadband as I've already argued previously, I guess in a couple years I will be buying wireless mics to "stake claim" to my TV reception channels by bumping off the sensing WSDs. And the airwave pollution war begins.
Madness is right on the very same day the FCC approved white space devices the FCC also approved, after a successful 5 year trial by WPSU in Central PA, Distributed Transmission Systems for licensed digital television stations. Of course the main opponents to DTS were the white space proponents because it could actually fill gaps and improve television reception in underserved communities not to mention enable the use of the future ATSC mobile / handheld standard. Some WSD proponents are quite concerned that DTS could lead to tens of thousands of TV transmitters. IMHO the WSD proponents shouldn't be concerned because they are just small transmitters with a couple kW each and could provide innovative television services to millions.
RobertJTownley

join:2001-04-13
Omaha, NE

How does uploading work on White Space Broadband.

How does uploading work (if at all) on a whitespace link? Is it just like most consumer satellite connections, dial-up modem for uploads?
i haven't been able to get my hands on IEEE 802.22, but would think something designated as 802 would be duplex. Need a reference though.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

1 edit

Re: How does uploading work on White Space Broadband.

said by RobertJTownley:

How does uploading work (if at all) on a whitespace link?
Apparently Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) the same thing that is used for mobile Wi-Max will be used. Speed will probably be dependent on how much white space spectrum is available.

DavePR

join:2008-06-04
Canyon Country, CA

1 recommendation

Why Not WiMax?

It seems way more promising than this controversial Rube Goldberg idea?
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

2 edits

Re: Why Not WiMax?

WiMax is way more promising except in some very rural areas but the white space proponents didn't want to pay for spectrum the way what is now the New Clearwire had to. IMHO the spectrum licenses that will now be used to provide mobile WiMax service should have been paired with white space licenses out in the middle of nowhere where it would be almost impossible to interfere with television reception but would have made the build out of a national WiMax network less expensive where it would do the most good.