The FCC has released a Second Memorandum Opinion and Order that upholds the majority of prior decisions from an earlier report and order while at the same time clarifying some rules concerning:

  • unlicensed TV Bands Devices (TVBDs),
  • a TV Bands Database,
  • the use of TV channels, and
  • the protection criteria for incumbent services.

The FCC has expanded the reservation of two channels in the range of Channels 14-51 to all markets nationwide for use by wireless microphones. Furthermore, the FCC is now eliminating the requirement that TVBDs rely on geolocation and database access to sense analog and digital TV signals and also wireless microphones. Additionally, the FCC will retain the requirement that fixed and Mode II devices access the database once every 24 hours and that Mode I devices either verify contact from a Mode II or fixed device or initiate contact with one of those devices at least once per minute. With respect to the matter of antenna height for TVBDs, the FCC balked at raising the maximum ceiling from 30 meters to 100 meters, although personal and portable TVBDs will have no such height limit as there is no practical way to enforce such limits. Finally, the FCC declined at this time to set aside TV channels for fixed licensed wireless backhaul and instead will propose next steps before the end of the calendar year.

The FCC kept intact most of its prior decisions on acceptable uses within the TV White Spaces in an attempt to have fixed and personal/portable TV Band Devices work harmoniously with TV stations, wireless microphone users, and other low power auxiliary devices. The FCC intends to delay acting on the issue of permitting fixed, licensed point-to-point wireless backhaul for mobile broadband network providers until December.

Contact James Mardis for an RTG Briefing on this FCC action.