Writing to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, eight House lawmakers called on the FCC to postpone its scheduled November 4 vote on an order that would open digital TV white spaces to unlicensed wireless devices. The lawmakers urged the agency to open in the interim a formal comment period of at least 60 days that would solicit public input on the 400-page technical report on which many of the draft order’s findings are based. After conducting months of tests, the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) released a lengthy engineering study earlier this month indicating that unlicensed wireless devices could operate in the white space bands without causing harmful interference to adjacent broadcast TV and wireless microphone operations, as long as certain safeguards are observed. The draft order, revealed by Martin last week, seizes upon the OET report findings in concluding that potential interference could be eliminated with the use of white space devices that rely on spectrum-sensing and geo-location technologies to detect and avoid adjacent broadcast and wireless mic signals. Noting, however, that the FCC has refrained from seeking comment on the OET report, the lawmakers— including Representatives Carolyn Mahoney (D-NY), Robert Brady (D-PA), Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL) and Jon Porter (R-NV)—told Martin that “priority must be given to making the final decision a fair transparent process.” Recommending a comment period of 60 days, the eight House members further warned that “to justify a major spectrum policy decision on a 400-page technical report without a formal open comment period appears to violate this very basic premise of good government.” In calling for delay, the lawmakers added their voices to those of the National Association of Broadcasters and the Association for Maximum Service Television, which both continue to question the potential for interference along with the agency’s interpretation of the OET report data. In a separate letter to Martin, House Energy and Commerce Committee member Bobby Rush (D-IL) voiced similar concerns “over a hasty approach,” as he pushed for “expanded eligibility for geo-location technology and increasing the proposed channel reservation allotment [for wireless mics] to ensure adequate spectrum for a wide range of professionally coordinated events.”