MS, Google Fire Up White Space PR
Launch new Wireless Innovation Alliance
A six-partner coalition (including Microsoft, Google and Dell) wants to use the so-called "white space" spectrum -- partially freed by the migration to digital television -- to offer consumers cheap broadband via the airwaves. The problem is there's an immense potential for interference with existing systems, and available spectrum could be too limited in major markets. The White Space Coalition says they can engineer their way around this.
However, The National Association of Broadcasters recently launched a new ad campaign attacking the idea
(pdf), including a somewhat snarky statement
on their opposition. Some broadcasters are going way over the top, going so far as to suggest unlicensed devices are akin to germs
"Why would the FCC consider allowing millions and millions of these interference causing devices, like 'germs,' to spread throughout America with the ability to attack the TV receivers in people's homes, apartments, hotel rooms, hospital rooms, dormitories, etc., with no way for the owner of the TV set (the 'victim') to determine who was causing the 'illness' to his or her TV set?"
The White Space Coalition recently delivered prototypes to the FCC which the commission deemed unfriendly
to nearby transmissions. Microsoft disputed the agency's findings, arguing one of the prototypes was broken -- and stating that they have a prototype ready that will detect and avoid nearby wireless signals.
Apparently though, all companies involved want to fight this battle in the court of public opinion as much as they do in the lab. Microsoft, Google and company have just launched a new group dubbed the Wireless Innovation Alliance
, tasked with getting you to see things their way.
| |DotMac4Shill H8rPremium
Huntington Beach, CA
NAtB are a bunch of BS artists They spent 8 million fighting the XM merger and now they're spending who knows how many millions on this BS.
The only fact about the NAtB is whatever they say, believe the opposite.
Help keep cable rates low; support "Big Cable" in their fight against the extortionists at the NFL Network!
| |DotMac4Shill H8rPremium
Huntington Beach, CA
Re: NAtB are a bunch of BS artists I don't give a crap about your opinion of "NAtB" and the name describes them perfectly.
The NAtB doesn't represent ALL broadcasters, only some loud mouth terrestrial broadcasters and as such the NAtB can kiss my ass.
They don't give two craps about consumers, resort to bribing politicians to get their way like the RIAA racketeers and thus their opinions should be ignored by everyone.
F*ck the lying sacks of crap at the NAtB, their shills and all other special interest outfits who act like they're helping Joe Consumer when instead they're just looking to protect their power and influence over gov't and the marketplace.
| |GeekJediRF is Good For YouPremiumReviews:
Re: NAtB are a bunch of BS artists Thanks for the intelligent discourse. It's always helpful to respond with profanity-laced tirades that are long on conjecture, and short on fact.
Now...a dose of truth:
Back in the early days of radio, people wanted more choices in radio. There were many more people wanting to create stations than were frequencies. So the FCC allowed "directional" AM stations, where you could direct the signal in certain areas, allowing one to shoehorn in a signal.
In hindsight, how did directional AM's work out for everyone? The AM band is a crowded wasteland. It's sort of the same kind of thing here...except this time, instead of having engineers and the FCC making sure those directional patterns hold and no interference is caused, we are to trust that the equipment is smart enough to work out any issues on its own.
Just like CB radio, GMRS, etc...once the genie is out of the bottle, you can't get it back in. Let's say this stuff causes wide-spread interference. Is the FCC going to go to the public and say "Oops! We made a mistake. Turn off your devices!"? Of course not.
The point is that once the technology is released, there is no impetus to keep anyone honest.
There are some many better ways to do what they want. Let's do something that really works.
The goal of the broadcast engineer is to get all the meters on the transmitter to go as far to the right as possible!!
| |DotMac4Shill H8rPremium
Huntington Beach, CA
Re: NAtB are a bunch of BS artists No thanks. I don't need a dose of NAtB propaganda.
| || "t's a solution that is searching for a problem."|
I don't see how anyone looking at the state of the american market could make a claim like this with anything approximating a straight face. Something like 96-98% of the broadband market is controlled by either the sole cableco or sole telco in any particular market(yes there are multiple bells and cable companies but they do not compete with one another).
For example see figure 9:
This data is a few years old but all the newer data I have seen shows no fundamental change. Note also the trend, which is to even less competition and growing market share for cable and the bells.
A large number of people have only one option and a quite significant number of people still have zero options.
This country desperately needs an additional player with national scope. A few scattered startups with very limited service areas are never going to be serious competition to the cableco/bell duopoly.
Now there may be legitimate concerns about interference and those concerns should be addressed but it is in the nature of these things that every time changes occur entrenched interests scream that the sky is falling. These melodramatic pronouncements about everyones' televisions being under attack are stupid. It isn't as if interference or failed devices only became a possibility yesterday. Devices have failed and interference has occurred from the very beginning of wireless communications and it has not yet led to the downfall of civilization. I think one has to be suspicious of groups whose agenda is to kill something like this, early in its life, rather than working to make sure it functions properly and with minimal nuisance to others. If we continue to listen to these groups that tell us the sky is falling the practical effect will be locking us perpetually into the limitations of present technology or, at minimum, locking us into whatever technology the dominant players choose to allow us.
Glen Head, NY
The White Space Coalition recently delivered prototypes to the FCC which the commission deemed unfriendly to nearby transmissions. Microsoft disputed the agency's findings, arguing one of the prototypes was broken -- and stating that they have a prototype ready that will detect and avoid nearby wireless signals.What I find unnerving is this statement that one of the prototypes was broken. What does this mean in the real world if a production unit already in operation breaks? Does an entire neighborhood get its video wiped out because of the broken unit? I would hope there is enough fail-safe built in to these devices that will cause them to shutdown on the first sign of circuit trouble. Of course if the circuitry designed to detect the problems is also effected then get used to issues popping up.
As a ham, one of the biggest offenders these days happens to be TV signal amplifiers. It is amazing how many of them go bad and start radiating signals for years until they are finally tracked down. I shudder to think a similar scenario is brewing now with "white space" transmitters.
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
| |gaforcesUnited We Stand, Divided We Fall
Santa Cruz, CA
Re: Broken? Is it the return of the FCC triangulation vans?
Im using a 16v powered hdtv antenna from radio shack.
My 102" SS CB antenna is on the same pole. I havent noticed any problems yet.
| |gaforcesUnited We Stand, Divided We Fall
Santa Cruz, CA
Bad start They shoot themselves in the foot giving the FCC faulty equipment for testing.
They have every right to reject interference with thier broadcasting, though they make it sound like its the end of the world, bottom of the ninth, BB at bat, and its a h ... @#%$@%% white space device interference.
That picture of the difference between interference and not looks the same as if I used the tuner software that came with my AverTV tuner. If I use the microsoft media center I dont get those artifacts.
Wireless Has To Improve Our technology lab has a wireless connection and it has packet loss. The downstream speed is also far less than the upstream. (Downstream is 200 - 300Kbps and upstream is usually over 1Mbps). We have complained to the ISP and they replaced the radio and realigned the antenna. It works OK but I don't think it will ever work well enough for VOIP and gaming. The latency varies a lot and the packet loss even makes browsing sluggish as the browser waits to retry the request.
My parents recently signed up with a WISP for high-speed internet at their farm. Again, there is some packet loss.
I don't know why but my direct exposure to wireless gives me the opinion that it should only be used as a last resort. I'm most troubled by the packet loss. I don't understand why both wireless links have packet loss. Both links experience about 1% packet loss. In my opinion, that's way too high and I don't understand why the data link layer is not more robust.
I also notice more packet loss on my wireless laptop link than my hard wired links.
Unless wireless improves, I don't think it will ever be suitable as a competitive replacement to hard line connection. Perhaps if it's really cheap, folks will accept the lower quality.
Re: Wireless Has To Improve On the other hand, large data links are created and maintained using Microwave broadcast and towers in line of sight. You see them often, they look like they have big white cloth covered wheel barrows hanging hanging on them. Those microwave data links can be in excess of several Gb/s. The technology exists, and works well, it's only a question of the reliability of the device and the quality of the spectrum.
Currently Wisps and other wireless Internet are relegated to an unlicensed band of spectrum that is used for everything from remotes and computer mice to cordless phones and Internet. The interference you are a seeing is likely due to something YOU own. Chances are it's a cordless phone that's moved off frequency a bit and is interfering with the signal from the Wisp. (if you want to test it unplug all your cordless and wireless devices, bring up a download where you can monitor packet loss and slowly plug each item back in, one at a time. I'll bet you find the offender pretty quickly)
The point of this whitespace group is to get access to the buffer space between channels and stick a digital signal in it that is data transmission. One goal of the project is likely to get this piece of spectrum restricted to ONLY Internet use so that they can limit the interference seen in the 900mhz and 2.4ghz unlicensed bands. You might love your wireless router that operates at 2.4ghz, but tack on a 20-40 mile range, limit it's use to commercial operators (but open to any commercial operator) to limit interference by rouge consumer devices and you have the wet dream of Internet providers. Building out a wireless country wide network is FAR cheaper than building out a last mile cable based system.
If we want that 3rd provider that's essential to consumer choice and competitive pricing we are going to have to make a sacrifice. Be that power line broadband, whitespace broadband or licensed spectrum broadband, the fact is we have to get a third national provider of Internet that doesn't rely on infrastructure from the cable/bell duopoly. Unfortunately that may mean we have to accept interferance with some signal. Hopefully in the digital world the idea of interferance isn't the same idea it was with analog transmissions.
Re: Wireless Has To Improve Hasn't the FCC been selling dedicated spectrum? Have any WISPs bought dedicated spectrum? I know it's expensive but if wireless is the path to a true third choice, why hasn't a company with cash (Google, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM) purchased some spectrum?
For that matter, why must spectrum be purchased? Why can't the government classify spectrum for a certain kind of use and then license lots of small guys to use it? Why the big money grab?
Regarding interference, at least at my parents house it isn't coming from them. Their WISP is using 900mhz band. Their phones are 5Ghz, their access point is 2.4Ghz. One of their dish network receivers has a wireless remote that transmits in the UHF band but the packet loss is consistent and doesn't seem to get better or worse with any particular activity in the house. At 2AM, the packet loss is there but the speed is better.
The packet loss is present between their router's public IP (statically configured by the ISP) and the next hop. DNS lookup identifies the next hop as owned by their ISP. This leads me to believe the packet loss occurs between in the wireless link.
Their satellite LNBs convert the Ghz satellite signals to high Mhz signals that's more suitable for coax transmission. I suppose this could be leaking and causing interference.
Of course that doesn't explain the link in the lab where I work. I don't know what band it's using and being in an office park, the interference could be coming from anywhere.
I don't doubt that wireless could be better but in my opinion, today's links cannot offer serious competition to a hard link. Perhaps dedicated frequency would eliminate these problems.
I'd agree we need a third choice but it won't be able to compete unless it's rock solid, low latency and very low packet loss.
Sounds cool.... Broadband through airwaves that reach out like tv signels? If so I want it. I am tired of the cheap phone/cable companies forgeting about rurel america.
Give me white space. Microsoft and Google on the same team? That is pretty scary how much power they could have when it comes to lobbying.
New York, NY
Re: Give me white space. I agree but Verizon, AT&T, Concast, Time Warner, Cablevision and whomever else have given consumers a complete screwing for long enough. I think they should get the spectrum otherwise we will always have third rate broadband. Another competitor will do us all good.
Stupid Idea If this is such a great idea why restrict it to just the TV spectrum. How about the barely used frequencies reserved for the military and government as if the Pentagon and Homeland Security would ever allow that.
TV White spaces A radio made by Google/Dell/Microsoft scares me. It would be interesting to see what a real radio company like Motorola is thinking here.
This is bad... This is bad...
This is bad for a group of users not recognized by the NAB... all of us who use wireless microphone equipment that runs in the television white space. I'm amazed this doesn't get mentioned before. This proposal would break all wireless microphones in use, or at least cause substantial interference issues.