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Scientists Debunk TV Band-Sharing Interference Allegations

MANHASSET, N.Y. — Three leading U.S. scientists have delivered a brief outlining why the unlicensed use of the white space in broadcast TV bands will not interfere with digital TV transmissions.

The brief counters interference allegations by broadcasters that have stalled a May 2004 initiative by the Federal Communications Commission to open up spectrum by allowing new wireless device such as Wi-Fi to operate in broadcast TV bands.

Long coveted for their long-range and building-penetration characteristics, the TV bands have often been referred to as a vast wasteland of underused spectrum.

According to the brief authored by two former FCC officials and a university researcher, even after the transition to digital broadcasts and the reallocation of TV channels 52 to 69, an average of only seven full-power DTV stations will be operating on channels 2 to 51 in the nation’s 210 local TV markets. As a result, only a fraction of the 294 MHz of prime spectrum allocated to DTV services will actually be used in most markets, the brief concluded.

The brief’s authors are well known.

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