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Government Wireless Networking Your Rights Online

FCC Wants Proposals To Manage White Space Database 46

kdawson writes "A year after voting unanimously to open 'white space' frequencies for unlicensed use, the FCC has now issued a public notice seeking database proposals (PDF). Howard Feld explains in his blog posting: 'At last! We can get moving on this again, and hopefully move forward on the most promising "disruptive" technology currently in the hopper. And move we are, in a very peculiar fashion. Rather than resolve the outstanding questions about how the database provider will collect money, operate the database, or whether the database will be exclusive or non-exclusive, the Public Notice asks would-be database managers to submit proposals that would cover these issues. ... I label this approach "good, but weird."'"
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FCC Wants Proposals To Manage White Space Database

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  • i want UHF CB Radio! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @10:14PM (#30306654)
    like the ones they have in Australia, UHF does not get the DX/Skip interference like 27MHz does, when I want to talk locally i dont want dozens of people from all over the USA or all over the world interrupting our conversation just to say "hi, where are you?, what kind of radio do you have?" etc...etc... it gets old and annoying after a while
    • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @10:25PM (#30306732) Homepage Journal

      DX/Skip interference like 27MHz does

      Ionospheric propagation is a feature, not a bug. In fact it would be interesting to see what could be done below 30Mhz with protocols similar to CDMA, once all the commercial services have moved to the microwave bands.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FudRucker ( 866063 )
        it is a feature if DX/Skip is what you want to use, if you want to talk locally but can not because of the DX/Skip noise is too high then it is a bug, (all a matter of perspective)
      • If you're interesting in such things, look into the research Amateur Radio operators have done into HF radio protocols [] such as PSK31, TOR, Clover, MFSK16, etc. I have personally send data via PSK31 from my house in Va to Australia using 1 Watt of power. That's by no means a km/Watt record. See this database [] for contacts made.

        This guy [] (who received my 1 Watt signal) is seriously into weak signal work.

    • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @11:34PM (#30307162) Homepage

      FRS radios operate in the 400MHz range, which is UHF just like you desire. So there you go. :)

      • frs frequencies are fine, the existing radios in the stores are very inadequate, i want a 5 watt radio that runs on 12 volts DC that has a PL-238 antenna connector on the back so i can attach a 50 OHM coaxial cable that runs up to an antenna,
        • PL-238 antenna connector

          That would be PL-259, and you *don't* want that on UHF. They suck above 150MHz. They suck a bit above 50MHz, at that.

          • i have a dualband kenwood 731 VHF/UHF right now that has two SO-238 connectors on the back (SO, not PL = my bad). the SO-238 are the chassis mount connectors that receive the PL-259 coaxial connectors, and they work fine
            • Mmmmhmmm. I have about 3500 Tait T2000s on both VHF and UHF, and they all use BNC connectors. If you look on proper antennas and RF equipment that's used above HF, you'll find only N connectors, except for enormously old VHF commercial equipment. Of course, once you get into low microwave you get some seriously odd connectors.

        • Aside from not using a PL-series connector, I think there are rules to specifically prohibit removable antennas or antenna connectors on FRS radios to prevent people form doing exactly what you describe - adding an external high gain antenna.

          GMRS (which requires a license) allows for repeaters [], so that's what you'd want if you feel the need to boost your signal.

          Of course you could join us Amateur Radio folk and have the best of all worlds - frequencies from DC to light (almost!), and much higher power limit

    • wow! i made first post!

      with the economy in the pits it would do some good to stimulate the economy with some new products, take a look at the UHF CB radios in Australia and make something similar for the USA, []

      if this was opened up in the USA it would stimulate the economy, a hell of a lot of people would buy them especially if you included nice features like CTCSS, all mode = AM/FM/SSB, 5 watts plus the ability of installing in automobiles, with external antennas, we
  • It makes perfect sense. They have no idea how to do it or the answers to those questions, so they are asking for current database experts to propose a solution. That is opposed to arguing about whatever option they happen to chose arbitrarily until nothing gets done.
    • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @10:48PM (#30306866) Homepage Journal

      They know how to do it. They have CORES [] already. You register, you get an ID, you use it to fill out forms and pay bills. In the case of whitespace, you register, you get an ID, you use it to fill out forms, and not pay bills. Easy.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Joreallean ( 969424 )
        Quoted from the proposal: "Although there appears to be general agreement on the basic functional architecture for TV band database(s) (i.e., a data repository, a data registration process, and a query process), there are a variety of views on whether we should designate one data repository administrator and allow multiple registration and query service providers, have each administrator perform all functions, or some other combination." They obviously don't know how to do it, no matter how clear the answe
      • Okay. Now suppose I'm watching channel 17 from ~60 miles away.

        And my neighbor decides he wants to turn-on his whitespace TV Band Device directly over top channel 17.

        How is this database supposed to stop that from happening? I'm afraid the DB will tell the neighbor's TVBD that it's okay to broadcast over channel seventeen because it's not located inside my market. Goodbye channel 17; hello digital hash.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      I dunno.

      How hard is maintaining a database? Especially one that doesn't get updated that often? I'd guess the trick would be distributing the right information to the right devices.

      It seems to me that this is *exactly* the kind of thing that should be run by government bureaucrats. It could be designed and operated by a private organization like BB&N, but I certainly don't want to see for-profit companies that might have agendas *other* than accuracy. Crafting creative public policy is not something

      • If only it were that simple, the data base must be able to account for local licences, some that are only valid for a week or two updating the database could be a daily occurence. They frequently let special devices operate in allocated space as long as certian power requirements are satisfied. With a data base implimented getting special exemptions will take even longer because so many requests will be made for all the nonconforming devices.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Fred_A ( 10934 )

      It makes perfect sense. They have no idea how to do it or the answers to those questions, so they are asking for current database experts to propose a solution.

      Well, in that case I think they should dedicate the airwaves to either :
      - white noise so that we can generate random numbers
      - wireless networking

      Oh, and regarding database, I think mauve has the most RAM.

  • uh oh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This thing might get a bit political, with some not very nice things being said about whoever wins it. Some problems may be experienced with the day-to-day operation, too. Perhaps another story in Slashdot about some of that down the road.

  • by superid ( 46543 ) on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @10:52PM (#30306902) Homepage

    I've read the proposal twice. They don't describe what they want to store at all. And I don't see a reference to another document either. How can anyone make an informed proposal without knowing anything about the data!!

    • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @11:07PM (#30306994) Journal

      I've read the proposal twice. They don't describe what they want to store at all. And I don't see a reference to another document either. How can anyone make an informed proposal without knowing anything about the data!!

      Clearly you've never worked for a consultancy. What you need is a few dozen current buzzwords/phrases - like Cloud Computing, Virtualization, Web 2.0 - and a few weasel words/phrases - like Synergy (a must have in any proposal!), Then you need to proove you can throw 300 people at the problem if needed (and you will find a way to justify it!). Never mind that some dork with a PostGres database and a few scripts (or Access 2007 database if you're a Microsoftie) can probably do what they need. If they can't work out what they need it's a business opportunity.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by WidgetGuy ( 1233314 )

      I've read the proposal twice. They don't describe what they want to store at all. And I don't see a reference to another document either. How can anyone make an informed proposal without knowing anything about the data!!

      I dunno. I just read the Public Notice (only once, and quickly). Sounds pretty straightforward to me. They are looking for a database with a real-time API that can be used by devices designed to use the white space bands. These devices are required to have geo-location capabilities (e.g., GPS) so (presumably in real-time) they can give the database their current location (e.g., GPS coordinates). The database replies with an "available channels" report based on the device's location and information it h

    • Open white space frequencies are part of American slashdot users rights, so a proposal for a db that contains data on who is using that falls into the rights category. (Or 'cause yro is a bit of a catch all catagory.)

    • Do we have the right to use those frequencies, or will that "right" be managed by these database providers? That is a relevant question, at least in the Slashdot crowd where some people have the technical prowess needed to exercise that right.
  • by jeffstar ( 134407 ) on Thursday December 03, 2009 @02:11AM (#30307912) Journal

    these guys [] seem to be on top of it and have their database finished.

  • My understanding was that these devices will monitor for activity and not transmit if something is detected. So what is the database for? It certainly isn't adequate to replace this active detection. Does it black-list bands that cannot be transmitted on locally even if they appear to be empty? Does it white-list band that are candidates for transmission if they appear to be open?

    Are these devices required to check with both the geolocation service (GPS?) and local database before they can operate? It makes

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle