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Wireless Networking

Television White Space Spectrum Approved For Use By FCC 107

New submitter ptmartin01 writes "The unused spectrum now assigned to television broadcast has been made available for public use by the FCC. This is going to be used for wireless applications (PDF) with implications that it will generate as much investment as the previous Wi-Fi spectrum. It also happens to be the last available spectrum to be exploited."
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Television White Space Spectrum Approved For Use By FCC

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  • by Tx ( 96709 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @07:19AM (#38487564) Journal

    I was wondering the same thing. I guess if there was a "killer app" for white space spectrum, we'd have heard about it. This page [allthingsd.com] summarises it so; "Unlicensed spectrum opens the door to all kinds of uses, but the use most commonly talked about is to provide fixed and wireless broadband Internet services. It could also prove a good technology for moving video and other bulky data types around the home."

  • Re:It's not the last (Score:3, Informative)

    by the coose ( 171981 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @10:11AM (#38487930)
    Actually, see here [slashdot.org]. Also, amateur radio bands exist in almost all parts of the spectrum from HF up to UHF but taken collectively [arrl.org] it doesn't amount to much when compared to the whole spectrum.
  • Re:It's not the last (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 25, 2011 @10:32AM (#38488006)

    The FCC could try to take away some of the amateur radio spectrum. Every now again they try to take some away. In so far they have not been successful. It is only a matter of time though. What with the number of new hams decreasing every year.

    You might want to check your facts. The number of licensees in the U.S. is actually at an all-time high. It's been climbing since 2007, when the FCC dropped an outdated Morse Code proficiency requirement. See graphs [ah0a.org] and some additional stats [arrl.org] for the details.

  • by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @01:15PM (#38488644)

    This DTV shit is for the birds, even with an external antenna and an amplifier the best I can get is 2 seconds of video with unsynced sound before the garbage freezes up for 15 seconds. Thanks Bush, sunk a hundred bucks into your bullshit little boxes and ended up getting fucking cable anyway so I can watch the god damned local news.

  • TFS, it sucks (Score:5, Informative)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @04:46PM (#38489816) Homepage Journal

    The unused spectrum now assigned to television broadcast has been made available for public use by the FCC.

    No. It hasn't. It's been made available for commercial use, following the long standing tradition at the FCC of giving the public nothing or next to nothing, and corporations everything.

  • Re:Capitalism, ho! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Biogenesis ( 670772 ) <overclocker.bren ... o m e . c om.au> on Sunday December 25, 2011 @05:25PM (#38490004) Homepage

    I don't have the FCC's spectrum allocation chart handy, but here's the one for Australia: http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/radcomm/frequency_planning/spectrum_plan/arsp-wc.pdf [acma.gov.au]

    The only unallocated spectrum is below 9kHz and above 275GHz. Obviously a lot of overlap can occur at VHF and above (if you allow for the odd tropospheric ducting event to cause interference) but TV is the last of the big chunks of spectrum, everything on the chart that isn't broadcasting (orange/red colour) is hacked up into small pieces.

  • by storkus ( 179708 ) on Sunday December 25, 2011 @05:32PM (#38490034)

    For the same reason they keep trying to steal the amateur 70cm band (420-450 MHz in the New World, 420-440 MHz elsewhere): the propagation happens to lie in a "sweet spot" of being able to penetrate vegetation, buildings, etc with minimal loss, high power can be generated rather cheaply and easily, and yet there sufficient bandwidth to be able to do high speed data and what-not.

    Further up into the microwaves (including mid and high-UHF) you get more bandwidth but attenuation and lower power generation (necessitating directional antennas for most apps) become problematic: witness the differences between the original 800/900 MHz cell bands and the PCS bands at 1700-2100 MHz.

    Further down you start needing big antennas to do anything and man-made interference (static and such) starts becoming a real issue. Also, while VHF TV exists where it does for historical reasons, available bandwidth starts getting real scarce as you go down here. Finally, in the low VHF band (FM radio and below) you start seeing ionospheric propagation crop up which can be a nightmare for commercial uses (we hams love it, of course) and will probably be even worse for unlicensed users who will probably be stuck with lower power levels.

    My guess is that the interference/big antenna issue will make low VHF (channels 2-6) useless in cities while in rural areas its use will be determined by available channels (a lot of translators are still on VHF even now). Possibly ditto for high VHF (7-13), especially in the number of channels still in use. ATSC has always done better on UHF so in cities where there are a zillion transmitters (half of them low power religious and the like), I can easily see the lack of white spaces being a big problem. In rural areas, the propagation isn't as good on this band, but still far better than 900 MHz+, so we'll see what happens.

    One other question I haven't seen answered anywhere: what about Canada and Mexico? If the USA doesn't have some agreement with them on this (and I have yet to see one) none of this may be available in border regions (similar to the Line A and B issues on the 70cm UHF ham band along the US/Canadian border).

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