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White Space Database Administrators Guide

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Overview

The Commission’s rules provide for operation of low power unlicensed wireless devices in the broadcast television spectrum (TV bands) at locations where that spectrum is unused by licensed services (ET Docket 04-186 & ET Docket 10-174). The rules for unlicensed devices that operate in the TV bands are set forth in 47 C.F.R. §§ 15.701-.707.These rules also contain provisions for devices that rely on spectrum sensing to determine available channels.This unused TV spectrum is commonly referred to as television “white spaces” (TV white spaces).The unlicensed devices that operate in this spectrum (TV band devices) generally provide communications of broadband data and other services for consumers and businesses. To identify unused spectrum, i.e., vacant channels, TV bands devices must include a geo-location capability and the capability to access through the Internet a database that identifies incumbent licensed operations entitled to interference protection.The protected incumbent operations, include for example, full power and low power TV stations, broadcast auxiliary point-to-point facilities, low power auxiliary service operations (wireless microphones), PLMRS/CMRS operations on channels 14-20, and the Offshore Radiotelephone Service (47 C.F.R. § 15.71147 C.F.R. § 15.717).The database also includes records reflecting the protected locations and channels of certain radiofrequency services that are not recorded in Commission databases. These records include the locations ofcable headends and low power TV receive sites that are outside the protected contours of the TV stations whose signals they receive. Records also include authorized wireless microphones and other low power auxiliary devices that are used on a regular or scheduled basis and radioastronomy sites.The database accessed by the device will respond with a list of the TV channels that are vacant and can be used at the device’s location (47 C.F.R. § 15.713(a)-(b)).The rules state that the Commission will designate one or more entities to administer the TV bands database function for a term of 5 years (47 C.F.R. § 15.715). The Commission has delegated authority for oversight and management of the database administrator(s) and their functions to its Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) in ¶ 107.This website provides information regarding TV white databases, their designated administrators and the Commission’s requirements for their approval and performance.

Selection of Database Administration

On January 26, 2011, the OET issued an Order designating nine entities to serve as TV white spaces database administrators. Based on the information filed by the conditionally designated administrators, OET found that each of the applicants had shown that they have the technical expertise to develop and operate a TV bands database.However, OET indicated that these designations would be subject to the entities fulfillment of and compliance with certain conditions intended to ensure their adherence to recent changes in the rules and to provide for strong oversight of their system designs and operations by the Commission (Order released January 26, 2011, DA 11-131). These conditions are:

  1. Each of the designated database administrators must supplement its previous filings with sufficient detailed information to indicate how it will comply with the rule changes adopted in the Second MO&O.Amendments to proposals must be received by February 28, 2011.Any of the database administrators that filed separate proposals and now wish to consolidate their operations must submit an updated proposal by this same date.Any database administrators that wish to withdraw their proposals must notify the Commission by this same date.
  2. All database administrators must attend workshops to be conducted by OET to address the operation of the databases to ensure consistency and compliance with the rules and the database trials, as described herein.Each administrator shall designate a responsible party who will represent its organization at the workshops and also ensure compliance with all of the conditions herein by February 28, 2011. The first workshop is scheduled for March 10, 2011 at the Commission’s Laboratory in Columbia, Maryland.
  3. Each database administrator must cooperate with any steps OET deems necessary to ensure compliance with the rules, including for example security features.
  4. Database administrators must agree that they will not use their capacity as a database manager to engage in any discriminatory or anti-competitive practices or any practices that may compromise the privacy of users.

Database administrators that successfully satisfy all of the conditions herein will be allowed to make their databases available for actual use for the five year term specified in our rules. OET will announce the public availability of each database, at which time the five year term for that database will commence.

The Database Administrators List

The designated TV white space database administrators and their status with respect to the required submissions under conditions 1 and 2 above are:

White Space Database Administrators
Administrator Name
Contact Information
Approval Status
Airity, Inc. (formerly WSdb LLC)
 
Pending
Comsearch
H. Mark Gibson, 19700 Janelia Farm Boulevard, Ashburn, VA 20147 mgibson@comsearch.com
Pending
Frequency Finder, Inc.
Peter Moncure, 8910 Dick’s Hill Parkway, Toccoa, GA 30557 pmoncure@radiosoft.com
Pending
Google Inc.
Alan.Norman, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 alannorman@google.com
Approved
KB Enterprises LLC and LS Telcom
Dr. Georg Schöne, Im Gewerbegebiet 31-33, D-77839 Lichtenau, Deutschland GSchoene@LStelcom.com
Pending
Key Bridge Global LLC
Jesse Caulfield, 1600 Tysons Blvd., Suite 1100, McLean, VA 22102 jesse.caulfield@keybridgeglobal.com
Approved
NeuStar, Inc.
Brian Rosen, 1775 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006brian.rosen@neustar.biz
Pending
Spectrum Bridge, Inc.
Peter Stanforth, 1064 Greenwood Blvd, Lake Mary, FL 32746 peter@spectrumbridge.com
Approved
iconectiv
John P. Malyar, 1 Telcordia Dr., Piscataway, NJ 08854 jmalyar@iconectiv.com
Approved
Microsoft Corporation

Ian Ferrell, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052, ianf@microsoft.com

Pending

These ten entities submitted proposals in response to a Public Notice that the Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology released on November 25, 2009. The information requested in the Public Notice was based on rules for TV bands databases adopted in the Second Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order.

Database Workshops and Dissemination of Information

As indicated above, all database administrators are required to attend workshops conducted by OET.At these workshops, OET will instruct the database administrators on how to comply with the database rules, identify tasks that must be completed by each administrator, and establish milestone dates for reporting progress on or completion of the identified tasks.Each database administrator is to designate a responsible party from its organization who will attend the workshops and ensure that the organization complies with all of the conditions below; responsible parties may also have an additional person from their organizations attend each workshop. We recognize that some of the administrators intend to use subcontractors for various database functions.It is not our intent to interfere with these private arrangements; however, the administrator will be ultimately responsible for the activities of the subcontractor and for ensuring that the subcontractor complies with our rules.The responsible party named by the administrator will be the point of contact for Commission staff.However, responsible parties may, from time to time, have another person member of their organization represent them at a scheduled workshop in their place.

The workshops will be conducted at the FCC Laboratory in Columbia, MD by staff of OET’s Laboratory Division.OET will address implementation details and collect information from the database administrators in these workshops; it will also provide guidance on the requirements to the database administrators on an as needed basis.The database administrators may also decide on their own to meet separately to discuss the various tasks and may include other interested parties in their meetings; however, OET will make final decisions on implementation issues affecting the databases and their operation and all decisions will be publicly available.OET will establish a webpage to post information about, and may seek comment on, the guidance that it will provide to the administrators.Each database administrator must cooperate with any steps OET deems necessary to ensure that the TV bands databases provide accurate and consistent lists of protected services and available channels.Further, they must support capabilities that OET deems necessary to ensure that any changes in registration of protected facilities in one database are rapidly reflected in all others.The workshops are intended to serve as a valuable tool for ensuring that each administrator understands the rules and effectively implements them. Additional guidelines and information will also be published as OET's Knowledge Database (KDB) at www.fcc.gov/labhelp.

Database Trial Periods

Each database will be subject to a trial period of not less than 45 days before it is allowed to be made available for actual use by TV bands devices to allow interested parties an opportunity to check that the database is providing accurate results.During the trials, the database administrators will need to provide a means for the Commission and others to enter geo-location data to obtain lists of available channels.The FCC staff will subject each database to inquiries for lists of channels available at specific locations (the specific locations examined will be revealed after testing and will vary across the trials of different database systems).The public also allowed to make such trial inquiries for available channels.

A longer trial period may be required if the OET determines that a database is not in compliance with the Commission’s rules.OET will determine the details of each trial (trials will be as consistent as possible across different databases, with the exception of the specific geographic locations of inquiries, but may reflect differences in the design, structures and methodologies used in individual database systems), balancing the need to ensure that the database is working properly with the need to avoid an unnecessarily cumbersome and burdensome process.

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