TV.Band_.WhiteSpace.11.14.06.P

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Competitive v. Top-Down:
The TV Band “White Space” Issue
Thomas W. Hazlett
Professor of Law & Economics
George Mason University
[email protected]
INNOVATION, TECHNOLOGY, AND SPECTRUM POLICY
Information Economy Project
George Mason University School of Law
Sept. 21, 2006
Current TV Band Proceeding
• Unlicensed use of “white space”
– Devices approved by FCC for sharing
spectrum without causing “harmful
interference” to others
• Overlays defining exclusive rights and
assigned to owners (presumably via
competitive bidding)
Thomas W. Hazlett
TV Band "White Space"
2
The FCC Evaluates, Top-Down
• comparing bands in the “public interest”
• crafting rules specific to each allocation
• weighing pleas from interested parties
• radio spectrum held hostage
• “command and control” reigns
• case-by-case stalls deployments
Thomas W. Hazlett
TV Band "White Space"
3
Feb. 18, 2005
“[W]orld's leading market
showcase for wireless data”
Sydney "has become the world's leading
market showcase for wireless data
services,“ says… U.S. technology research
Gartner in Australia… [A] reason wireless
broadband is taking off here: The
government sold off radio spectrum for such
services relatively cheaply. Privately held
Personal Broadband snapped up its license
in 2001 for only about US$7.5 million.
8 TV channels per market
• 67 channels set aside per market
Thomas W. Hazlett
TV Band "White Space"
5
The U.S. Broadcast TV Band
Channels 2 – 4
MHz 54
5–6
72 76
Thomas W. Hazlett
7 – 13
88 174
14 – 36
216 470
TV Band "White Space"
38 - 69
608 614
806
6
The U.S. Broadcast TV Band
Channels 2 – 4
MHz 54
Allocated
5–6
72 76
1939
Thomas W. Hazlett
7 – 13
88 174
14 – 36
216 470
1945
TV Band "White Space"
38 - 69
608 614
806
1949 - 1953
7
DTV “Transition”:
Top-Down State of the Art
• ~ 8 channels of analog (≈1700 sta/210 TV mkts)
– using 402 MHz of VHF/UHF
• ~ 50 channels of digital
– using 294 MHz of VHF/UHF
– plus unlicensed devices performing under
FCC specifications
– and zero opportunity to transact for more
efficient organization of “TV Band”
Thomas W. Hazlett
TV Band "White Space"
8
Efficient Solution
• Overlays
• PCS test drive
– reallocation of microwave links a political
obstacle
• 1996 Pressler plan
• enabling complex spectrum sharing
– as in flexible use licensed bands
– producing tens of billions in $ annual consumer
gains
– leaving option to use MHz for low-power
devices
Thank you.
Thomas W. Hazlett
TV Band "White Space"
10
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