By Christopher Termini in Washington, DC Despite some uncertainty regarding the potential impact of the FCC’s proposal for incentive auctions of TV spectrum on the availability of this spectrum for unlicensed use, the Commission has continued to move forward with the deployment of unlicensed wireless devices in unused broadcast television spectrum, commonly known as the “white spaces.”
On September 19, 2011, the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) began a 45-day public trial of the TV band database system of Spectrum Bridge, Inc., one of the ten entities that the FCC conditionally designated to administer the TV bands device databases (which unlicensed devices in the white spaces will use to identify available TV channels in the user’s geographic area). The trial, which ends on November 2, 2011, has offered the public an opportunity to access and test Spectrum Bridge’s database system to ensure that it correctly identifies available channels and properly registers services and facilities entitled to protection. Trial participants may report inaccuracies or other issues concerning the database via Spectrum Bridge’s trial website, and Spectrum Bridge may thereafter take corrective measures for the database that it deems necessary. If the results of the trial suggest the need for additional testing, OET may extend the trial period beyond the initial deadline of November 2, 2011.
Following the trial, Spectrum Bridge will provide OET a summary report that describes any problems discovered during the trial, their resolution, and any changes made to the database system. Thereafter, OET will permit interested parties to submit comments on the report. OET will inform the public upon the granting of final approval for Spectrum Bridge to place its database system into actual use.
OET has not publicly announced the commencement of a database trial for any of the other designated administrators, which include Comsearch, Frequency Finder Inc., Google Inc., KB Enterprises LLC and LS Teleco, Key Bridge Global LLC, Neustar Inc., Telcordia Technologies, WSdb LLC, and Microsoft Corporation.