The TV Band White Space Device initiative continues to move forward in light of the FCC’s Broadband plan and the TV Incentive Auction rulemaking. This is an update of some of the recent notices released by the FCC over the last several months and how they affect wireless microphone operation.
September 19, 2012 – The FCC Opens Wireless Microphone Registration of major event/production venues in the East Coast region: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia and North Carolina. The Public Notice released on this date outlines the procedures a venue (e.g. sporting event, large theatrical production, etc.) must follow to apply for registration for unlicensed microphone operation at the venue location. Initial application is with the FCC. If the request meets the criteria it is placed on public notice for 30 days for comment. If there are no objections the venue can then register their event through one of the approved White Space Database administrators.
December 6, 2012 – The FCC issued a Public Notice authorizing approved TV White Space Database systems to provide service to unlicensed radio devices (aka TV Band White Space Devices). The FCC feels this is appropriate since there has been ample time since the September notice to register an unlicensed microphone venue. Concurrent with this notice the FCC opened up, across the nation, the registration for major event/production venues similar to what they did on September 19. These venues, requesting protection for unlicensed wireless microphones, can begin filing their applications for registration with the FCC. The FCC also anticipates expanding from regional to nationwide operations of TV White Space Database systems (i.e. service to TV Band White Space Devices) by mid-January 2013.
Conclusion – The takeaway for broadcasters holding a BAS authorization for operation of wireless microphones in the TV bands is this: They should ensure their studios and other locations of frequent and known wireless microphone use are registered with an approved TV White Space Database system of their choosing. There is no cost to register a location for a licensed user. Understand that the states mentioned in the September notice are “HOT and On-Line” now. Failure to register your location may result in interference from a TV White Space device. With unlicensed wireless microphone registration now open nationwide, expect the FCC to soon also authorize TV White Space Device operation nationwide. For our members who work for companies that produce large events that use unlicensed microphones, consider registering those venues for protection. Do remember, however, you need to apply at least 30 days prior to the event and must meet FCC eligibility criteria.
There are currently two approved TV White Space Database systems: Spectrum Bridge and Telcordia. I would expect the FCC to be approving others before long. At this time there are few TV Band White Space Devices in operation. Expect that number to grow in the near future. Be ready.
This information was provided by Joe Snelson, CPBE, 8-VSB, SBE Vice President and Chairman of the SBE Frequency Coordination Committee. Snelson is vice president of engineering, local media group at Meredith Corporation.
You’re in luck if you missed the fall membership meeting of the SBE in Denver. You can watch it online, now! Thanks to, Advanced Broadcast Solutions, Comrex, DVEO and Orban for sponsoring the meeting. They made it possibly to view, for those of you who were unable to be in Denver. A big thanks to SBE Immediate Past President Vinny Lopez, CEV, CBNT and SBE Chapter 48 Chairman Tony Roccanova, along with their team, for their great work on the live stream and recording.
Sage Alerting Systems has posted a message on their site saying:
We plan to release the IPAWS support firmware before 1:00pm EDT today. This is, as always, subject to a little drift.
• This web site is a finite resource. If everyone tries to download at 1:00pm, it won’t be pretty.
• Our support lines are a finite resource as well. If you need to call us, and you get voice mail, leave a message. Don’t try to call back later, assuming we’ll answer the phone then. Leave a message, and we’ll return your call in the order we received it. Don’t try the sales or business office extensions, they can’t call support either if the lines are busy.
• Please read and follow the steps in the release notes carefully. If you haven’t tried to add an IPAWS server by hand, and if your ENDEC is able to sync up to a network time source, the install will go very well. If you have tried to get the ENDEC to poll IPAWS by using instructions from a source other than Sage, you will have problems. Those CAP server entries, with things like “ipaws”, or “http” or “https” followed by anything, won’t work, and will result in a “CAP offline” message. If you can access your ENDEC, you might want to do a little prep work, remove those servers, and upload the settings before you upload the firmware. This is especially true if you used the ENDECSetd included in release 74-2, and built a CAP server with a type of “IPAWS OPEN” and an incorrect URL. Keep any server that is currently working for you, this includes any MyState server or GSS satellite server.
The other EAS encoder manufactures also have information available.
Don’t forget to take five minutes to stop by the SBE booth and complete a letter to your U.S. Representative in support of H.R. 2102, the Tech Act. Members attending the last day of the NAB Show can complete a letter at the SBE booth, L29. A pre-formed letter is available, so it just takes a moment to complete. Members not at the NAB Show can find and use the sample letter in the Legislative section of the SBE website. Not sure who your representative is? No problem. Find your representative by entering your zip code at www.house.gov.
The SBE is conducting a letter writing campaign to solicit co-sponsors for H.R. 2102, the FCC Technical Resource Enhancement Act (Tech Act). Members attending the NAB Show can complete a letter to their representative at the SBE booth, L29. Members not at the NAB Show can find and use a sample in the Legislative section of the SBE website to submit a letter to their representative.