Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

White Space Database Administrators Authorized in the East Coast Region

Download Options

Released: December 6, 2012

PUBLIC NOTICE

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

445 12th St., S.W.

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

Washington, D.C. 20554

DA 12-1956

Released: December 6, 2012

Office of Engineering and Technology Authorizes TV White Space Database

Administrators to Provide Service to Unlicensed Devices Operating on Unused TV

Spectrum in the East Coast Region

Operation Authorized in: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland,

Washington DC, Virginia, and North Carolina

ET Docket No. 04-186

The Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) announces that it is authorizing
approved TV white space database systems to provide service to unlicensed radio devices that operate on
unused spectrum in the TV bands (referenced herein as “TV white space devices”) in the East Coast
region. This action is a significant step towards providing for nationwide operation of TV white space
devices using new methods for efficiently using unused spectrum (white space) in bands allocated for
licensed services. It follows the recent launch within the East Coast region of the Commission’s on-line
registration system for large entertainment, sports, and similar venues where a significant number of
unlicensed wireless microphones are used (unlicensed wireless microphone venue registration system).
This registration system allows qualifying major event/production venues to register with the TV bands
white space database systems so that their operations of unlicensed wireless microphones and other low
power auxiliary station devices will be protected from potential interference caused by TV white space
devices. The next step in this process will be to authorize operation of the TV white space database
systems nationwide at the beginning of next year. We anticipate authorizing nationwide operations of TV
white space databases by mid-January 2013.1
The Commission’s rules (47 C.F.R. § 15.701 et seq.) permit unlicensed radio devices to transmit
on white space in the spectrum bands used by the broadcast television service, i.e., 54-72 MHz, 76-88

1 Concurrent with issuance of this public notice, we are opening up the unlicensed wireless microphone registration
system to accept registration of venues across the nation. See Office of Engineering and Technology and Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau Announce the Nationwide Launch of Unlicensed Wireless Microphone Registration
System, Public Notice, DA 12-1957 (rel. Dec. 6, 2012). We are launching this nationwide unlicensed wireless
microphone registration system prior to authorizing nationwide operations of TV white space databases to enable us
to complete our validation that the nationwide registration system and process is working properly and qualifying
operators can register their venues as intended. We plan to authorize nationwide operation of the TV white space
databases after we validate that our nationwide unlicensed wireless microphone registration system is functioning
properly.

MHz, 174-216 MHz, 470-608 MHz and 614-698 MHz.2 In order to protect TV broadcast and other
licensed services operating in these bands, the rules require these TV white space devices to obtain a list
of channels that are available for their operation (i.e., in general, channels not occupied by authorized
radio services) at their individual locations from a database system authorized by the Commission and
then to operate only on those channels.3 The database systems protect authorized services by preventing
TV white space devices from operating on channels on which they could cause interference to the
authorized services and unlicensed wireless microphones used by eligible venues.

The FCC rules require that TV white space database systems protect the following radio services
and receive operations (authorized services): (1) broadcast television stations (including full power, TV
translator, low power TV, and Class A stations); (2) fixed broadcast auxiliary service (BAS) links (regular
licensed and temporary); (3) receive sites (and received channels) of TV translator, low power and Class
A TV stations, and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs); (4) public safety and private
land mobile operations; (5) offshore radio telephone service operations; (6) radio astronomy service
operations at specific sites; and (7) low power auxiliary service operations (licensed and certain approved
unlicensed wireless microphone venue sites).4 Except for MVPD receive sites, sites where licensed
wireless microphones are used, and approved unlicensed wireless microphone venues, the necessary
protection data are either extracted by the database systems from the Commission’s databases or are
specified in the rules. Operators of MVPD receive sites, licensed wireless microphones and approved
unlicensed wireless microphone venues obtain protection by registering with one of the database
administrators (these registrations are also exchanged among the several database systems). In addition,
operators of venues where unlicensed wireless microphones are used must request approval from the
Commission to register with one of the database administrators.
Previously, the TV white space database systems that have been approved for operation have
been restricted to providing service in specific local areas because the Commission’s system for accepting
and approving requests to register venues where unlicensed wireless microphones are used has been under
development and not operational.5 That system was launched for use by venues in the East Coast region,
specifically New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, and
North Carolina, by OET and WTB in a Public Notice on September 19, 2012.6 The Commission’s

2 47 C.F.R. § 15.701 et seq. As noted above, we refer to these devices herein as TV white space devices. We also
have termed these devices as “TV bands devices.” See Unlicensed Operation in the TV Broadcast Bands, ET
Docket No. 04-186, Second Memorandum Opinion and Order, 25 FCC Rcd 18661 (2010).
3 There are currently 10 authorized TV bands white space database administrators, two of which are currently
approved to provide service to TV white space devices. The two currently “approved” database systems are those
operated by Spectrum Bridge, Inc. and Telcordia Technologies, Inc. See Unlicensed Operation in the TV Broadcast
Bands, ET Docket No. 04,186, DA 11-131, Order (rel. Jan. 26, 2011); Unlicensed Operation in the TV Broadcast
Bands, ET Docket No. 04-186, DA 11-1291, Order (rel. July 29, 2011).
4 The TV bands white space database administrators each operate a database system that include records for all
licensed facilities and additional facilities in the TV bands that are to be protected from interference.
5 See Office of Engineering and Technology Announces the Approval of Spectrum Bridge, Inc.’s TV Bands
Database System for Operation, Public Notice, DA 11-2043 (rel. Dec. 22, 2011) at 2-3; Office of Engineering and
Technology Announces the Approval of Telcordia Technologies, Inc.’s TV Bands Database System for Operation,”
Public Notice, DA 12-466 (rel. March 22, 2012); and Office of Engineering and Technology Permits Telcordia
Technologies, Inc. to Provide TV Bands Database Service in Nottoway County, Virginia, Public Notice, DA 12-620
(rel. April 19, 2012).
6 See Office of Engineering and Technology and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Announce the Initial
Launch of Unlicensed Wireless Microphone Registration System, Public Notice, DA 12-1514 (rel. Sept. 19, 2012).

unlicensed wireless microphone venue registration system specifies that registrations, if approved, will
not become effective until 30 days after the submittal of the request.7 To accommodate this 30-day
processing cycle and insure that venues where unlicensed wireless microphones are used could obtain
registrations and be protected prior to operation of TV white space devices, it was necessary to launch the
registration system for those venues in advance of allowing the database systems to provide service to TV
white space devices.
We find that there has now been sufficient time since the launch of the unlicensed wireless
microphone venue registration system to allow eligible venues in the East Coast Region to become aware
of the availability of the registration system, to request registration and to accommodate the 30-day
processing cycle. We therefore conclude that it is now appropriate to allow the TV white space database
systems to provide service to TV white space devices located in that region. Accordingly, the Office of
Engineering and Technology is hereby authorizing TV white space database administrators that it has
approved for operation to provide service to TV white space devices in that region. Specifically, this
authority applies to those database systems that have already been approved by OET, i.e., the systems of
Spectrum Bridge, Inc. and Telcordia Technologies, Inc., and will subsequently apply to any other TV
white space database system as they obtain approval by OET.

Further Questions

Questions regarding TV white space devices and TV white space database administration and/or
this Public Notice may be directed to Alan Stillwell at (202) 418-2470 or Hugh L. Van Tuyl at (202) 418-
7506 (OET).
By the Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology.
-FCC-

7 See 47 C.F.R. § 15.713(h)(9).

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.