"Licensed-Lite" White Spaces by WISPA

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"Licensed-Lite" White Spaces by WISPA

Washington, D.C. - October 27, 2008 - Many Americans, especially those living in rural areas have never had affordable broadband Internet access.  In a letter filed with the FCC last week, WISPA, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (www.wispa.org), showed the FCC how it can make valuable TV White Space spectrum available for new services.  The FCC is scheduled to vote on November 4 on how this spectrum can be used after the DTV transition occurs in February 2009.

WISPA offered a detailed "licensed-lite" solution for unused TV channels.  Unlike expensive spectrum auctions and "noisy" unlicensed spectrum, the "licensed-lite" approach relies on a spectrum sharing system that enables all users to operate without interference.  It would benefit the public by allowing the development of new and innovative types of unlicensed broadband devices and services.  It would also benefit WISPs by improving the service range of their existing networks, thereby allowing WISPs to reach new customers.  WISPA's proposal also ensures that consumers will continue to receive over-the-air television signals without interference.

Rick Harnish, WISPA's President, said "We believe adoption of our "licensed-lite" proposal will stimulate rural economies around the nation by enabling low cost ubiquitous broadband service from local and regional operators.  Children growing up in small towns deserve the same opportunities created by broadband adoption as those children in metropolitan areas.  Small businesses and rural entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of a growing economy and we encourage the FCC Commissioners to do their part in reviving Rural America."

Jack Unger, WISPA Secretary and Chair of WISPA's FCC Committee, added, "We believe that there are enough White Space frequencies for all wireless users to share, without creating interference. Our "licensed-lite" proposal adopts a "common-ground" approach that benefits all users without relying on controversial "spectrum-sensing" techniques.  Our technical solution uses a geolocation database that makes frequency sharing work. We urge the FCC Commissioners to adopt our "licensed-lite" proposal at their November 4th meeting because we believe it truly represents a "win-win" solution for all parties."

Since 2004, over 30,000 comments have been filed with the FCC suggesting how the White Space frequencies should be used.  Broadcasters want to be sure that new White Space users will not create interference with television reception.  Silicon Valley firms favor unlicensed use for personal/portable devices that would rely on the controversial "sensing" technologies opposed by broadcasters.  WISPA's "licensed-lite" approach represents a middle-of-the road solution that accommodates all of these interests.

[The ex-parte  notice is here]


  • Jack Unger, Chair WISPA FCC Committee  818-227-4220
  • Stephen Coran, Principal, Rini Coran, PC  202-463-4310
More on the issue here.

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