TV white space is often touted as the rural broadband solution because of the excellent propagation characteristics of UHF signal, which can range over a wide area and overcome obstacles to line-of-sight. But the technology is turning out to have an even greater value: as a model for more efficient use of spectrum in all the bands.
Available TV channels are different in any given area, so the channels are mapped by database and devices check in with the database on a daily basis. This spectrum-sharing model lays the groundwork for more efficient spectrum use in other bands as well, as the FCC’s latest report confirms.
Today, according to an article in Ars Technica, President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recommended spectrum sharing in the 1.7 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 5 GHz government bands. “Government spectrum should be shared, not hoarded, Presidential council says,” senior IT reporter Jon Brodkin wrote.
Yesterday, Telecompetitor’s Joan Engebretson reported on the FCC’s update about TV white space at its July commission meeting, citing the technology as a model of spectrum sharing that could result in greater spectrum-use efficiency in other bands.
The growing demand for wireless broadband dictates that available spectrum must be used as efficiently as possible, the FCC noted. Proposed methods include spectrum sharing “on a geographical, temporal and technology basis” and “greater use of white spaces technology,” Engebretson reported.
One policy under consideration is offering an incentive to government agencies to vacate unused spectrum in order to free it up to wireless broadband use. In the previous model, spectrum was cleared and allocated for federal agencies, but much of that spectrum went unused, as reported “Use It or Share It: Unlocking the Vast Wasteland of Fallow Spectrum” by New America Foundation’s Michael Calabrese.
Last month, Carlson made an ex parte presentation to the FCC advocating these changes, which will result in better broadband across the nation, particularly in rural regions. In addition, Carlson works closely with spectrum-database management companies such as Spectrum Bridge and Telcordia to ensure interference-free operation of our TV white space device, RuralConnect.