05.17.08

White Space News Roundup (May 17, 2008)

Posted in TV Bands, white space at 9:43 am by JamesNeel

On the Google public policy blog, there’s a link to a Google white paper (pdf) describing their geolocation proposal in more detail (though not a lot more). As opposed to earlier reports, they appear to be deemphasizing the aspect of having existing mics upgraded to include a beacon and are going more for a pure geolocation / database method (I think that’s preferable).

They’re also engaging in a little bit of the “cure for everything” mentality that is an unfortunate trait of the cognitive radio community. Specifically, Google is also touting the ability of unlicensed mesh White Space devices to aid the public safety community after a natural disaster. While the combination of mesh networks and cognitive radio is frequently touted for those purposes, I think it’s an unneccessary distraction in this case.

Specifically, what the unlicensed White Space community needs to focus on is just demonstrating non-interference with incumbents – which unfortunately hasn’t gone as smoothly as it could have. As additional features creep into these prototypes, the chances for bugs will neccessarily go up and any error at this point is being seized upon by the incumbents as proof of the infeasibility of DSA & cognitive radio.

Other notes:

In the last post on Google’s white space proposal, I mentioned that theaters and churches were also objecting, but I did not have links to support that assertion. Finally, here’s some news articles to support those claims.

Grand Ole Opry (along with CMT and MTV) complains about White Space.

A church audio blog following the controversy. It’s a short link roundup, but the Shure link is interesting to follow (they’re against it). While I’m on the topic of Shure, Michael Marcus rightfully rips into them in this post where he points out that frequencies suggested for use by Shure for wireless microphones, often unlicensed, interfere with licensed public safety incumbents! (Someone once said something about motes, beams, and eyes that seems apropos.)

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