Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
Released: June 28, 2013
Office of Engineering and Technology Announces the Approval of
Google, Inc.'s TV Bands Database System for Operation
ET Docket No. 04-186
The Commission's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) announces that it has granted
approval for Google, Inc. to operate its "TV bands database system" to provide service to the public.1
This database system will support unlicensed radio devices that transmit on unused channels in the
spectrum bands used by broadcast television (TV white spaces, or TVWS).
The Commission's Part 15 rules (47 C.F.R. 15.701 et seq
.) require that unlicensed TV radio
devices operating on TV white spaces (TVBDs) contact an authorized database system to obtain a list of
channels that are available for their operation (i.e.
channels not occupied by authorized radio services) at
their individual locations and operate only on those channels. These devices are required to provide their
geographic locations by means of a secure Internet connection to a TV bands database system authorized
by the Commission. When a device provides its location to a database, the database will then return a list
of channels available for operation by the device at that location.
The FCC rules require that TV bands database systems protect the following radio 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 TV, and Class A TV stations and multichannel video
programming distributors (MVPDs); 4) private land mobile and commercial mobile radio service
operations; 5) offshore radio telephone service operations; 6) radio astronomy operations at specific sites;
and 7) low power auxiliary service operations (principally licensed and certain approved unlicensed
wireless microphone venue sites). Except for MVPD receive sites, sites where licensed wireless
microphones are used, approved unlicensed wireless microphone venues and temporary broadcast
auxiliary facilities, the necessary protection data will either be extracted by Google from the
Commission's databases or are specified in the rules. Operators of facilities for which information is
contained in the Commission's records or provided in the rules do not need to take any action to obtain
protection from TV bands devices.
Operators of MVPD receive sites, wireless microphones users, and operators of temporary BAS links
must specifically register their sites to receive protection from TV bands devices. As required under the
rules, Google is providing facilities for registering for these operations through its TVWS database
system website at: http://www.google.org/spectrum/whitespace/index.html
. The rules also provide that
Letter to Mr. Eric Chu of Google dated June 28, 2013. This letter is available in the Commission's ECFS
records system under ET Docket No. 04-186.
responsible parties may request that the Commission approve protection at venues where unlicensed
wireless microphones are used. Such approvals will allow parties to register for protection of unlicensed
wireless microphone operations from TVBDs at the venues. Requests for approval of protection of
wireless microphones at venues will be made available for public comment, and the Commission will
subsequently review them for approval. All registrations entered with a given TV bands database will be
communicated to the other TV bands database(s) so that registrations will not need to be entered in
multiple databases. Currently, the Commission has also approved the Spectrum Bridge, Inc. and
Telcordia Technologies, Inc. TV bands database systems for operation (see Public Notice released
December 22, 2011, DA 11-2044).
Questions regarding this Public Notice may be directed to Alan Stillwell at (202) 418-2470 or
Hugh L. Van Tuyl at (202) 418-7506.
By the Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology.