So last week, the The Association for Maximum Service Television told the FCC they supported opening wireless microphones to church groups, theaters, government, and live music producers. This would legally allow hundreds of thousands of new users to operate devices on adjacent channels at
Nor do the broadcasters mind the more than 1 million unauthorized users running around using these high-powered “stupid” devices on active television channels (never mind adjacent channels). Indeed, despite the fact that an an engineering analysis by Verizon (which, I may add, is no friend to unlicensed in the white spaces) found that wireless microphones create massive pools of potential interference for the new 700 MHz commercial services and public safety, NAB/MSTV remain totally cool with over 1 million unauthorized users running around “their” spectrum with high power interference generators. Nor has “my neighbor's VHF band karoke system wireless mic” caused any little old ladies to lose digital television reception.
This week, the NAB and MSTV are screaming (with all the star power help they can muster) that allowing smart devices — designed to avoid interference and operating at one-fifth the power — would abso-positively-lutely kill television dead dead dead dead!!! So even though folks in poor inner city communities like Wireless Harlem, muni networks like Wireless Philadelphia, and small rural communities such as the Mountain Area information Network have supported the FCC's white spaces proposal because it will give them desperately needed wireless broadband access, the NAB and MSTV tells them they need to do without to protect free over the air television for the masses.
So to review the NAB/MSTV physics lesson: high-power signals from political allies don't interfere, but low power signals for poor people and competitors do interfere. Megachurches at five times the power don't interfere, but wifi in isolated Appalachian communities does interfere. Broadway can use high-power wireless microphones in the white spaces without any interference mitigation technology, but move it uptown to Harlem and it causes interference no matter how “smart” we make the devices.
Who knew physics could be so pro-incumbent?