Law in the Internet Society
-- JulianDunn - 05 Mar 2009 Julian Dunn Cognitive Radio in the Television Bands First Draft

1. Introduction

On November 4, 2008, Commissioner Michael Copps said one of the great lessons of history I quickly learned here at the FCC is the power of technology to turn scarcity into abundance. (Cite FCC Docket 08-260) During the past few years, the FCC has overseen the end of NTSC, the 700 MHz auctions and the ongoing transition to Digital Television. But Copps was referring to Television Band Devices (TVBDs), which The Commission unanimously approved that day for unlicensed use in vacant TV channels. The FCC's adoption of TVBDs was not guaranteed and faced an aggressive lobbying effort from the NAB, wireless microphone manufacturers, Broadway, and the major sporting leagues. But with the backing of Microsoft, Google and others, the FCC voted 5-0 to authorize cognitive radios for fixed and mobile use on vacant TV channels in the area.

Cognitive radios allow devices to alter its transmission based on the environment around it. Because the devices can sense, and share bandwidth with, other signals, otherwise incompatible uses can transmit in the same spectrum without causing interference. TVBDs, and cognitive radios more generally, have the potential to raise a floor of long-range wireless mesh networks that could transform the face of telecommunications and media.

Despite the fanfare, the particular kind of cognitive radio tentatively approved by the FCC has a number of internal and external constraints that will hamstring its impact on competition, consumer welfare, media diversity and spectrum efficiency. Value will be created, but speed and dependability will fall well behind existing broadband services. This limit the ability of the White Space spectrum to put pressure on incumbents to innovate and lower prices. Unlicensed use of TV spectrum by TVBDs may eventually be significant, but their success depends on the greater spectrum landscape that is hostile towards their presence.

Under the new framework, TVBDs are allowed to operate where they can assure other TV band signals will not be affected. The success of Tads are intimately linked with the fate of broadcast TV, wireless microphones and other devices that share the band. Although officially adopted, TVBDs are essentially asked to operate in the shadows, overcoming all interference around them, while not creating any disruptive waves of its own. Cognitive radios are capable of higher levels of coordination between devices than ever before, but that potential is lost on because of outdated protocols still transmitting on the bad.

The public debate thus far was a side issue to the real give and take between the incumbent broadcaster and entrant. The rules governing how the remaining spectrum will be shared heavily favored incumbent interests. The Second Report and Order, which outlines device specifications and transmission protocols for TVBDs, still presumes its obligation is to support licensed broadcast. They treat TVBD as a nuisance, even though the benefits of broadband connectivity are exponentially higher than broadcast. (cite to benefits of broadband) Full power television stations, along with other smaller uses, all receive priority higher than TVBDs, regardless of the efficiency of use, the purpose of the use, the social significance of the use, or demand for the resources overall. The licensed operators, which rely on less-efficient push technology, are given a generous buffer surrounding their footprint in order to preserve this result. TVBDs are capable of operating with much greater efficiency, but many of the gains that cognitive radios could enable are squandered by incumbent uses that were grandfathered into this new scheme. This unequal sharing arrangement is a critical distinction from existing unlicensed bands, which were touted in support of the upside of TVBDs. Without the power to exclude wasteful, licensed users, the WiFi? on steroids analogy just does not hold up.

The FCC must acknowledge that the licensing and auction models of spectrum allocation are no longer necessary to coordinate various uses of spectrum. While broadcast remains an important form of local and national media, is it no longer the most important way to receive information. Wireless broadband provided over that spectrum would allow for more diverse and meaningful links to society. Preliminary testing by the FCC demonstrated that long-range cognitive radios are capable of operating within the context of incumbent services, despite their long range and potential for broadband-level transmission. (cite) As cognitive radio continues to develop, the benefits they provide above and beyond broadcast will only continue to grow. If the technology is allowed to flourish, it will enable great increases in the supply of mobile bandwidth. (cite to importance of fat wireless pipes article) It may eventually eliminate the need for licensed services entirely, when we can achieve true equality in spectrum, ending the asymmetries in upstream and downstream bitrates suppress speech and undermine the democratizing power that this technology has enabled.

There are still a number of decisions yet to be made that will determine how this technology can be deployed, as well as external trends that will impact how quickly TVBDs are adopted, and how powerful they are allowed to become. Broadcasters have been entrenched for decades, and they just received new licenses, so it will be very difficult to pull back from this allocation. But the FCC and Congress must fight to remove the subsidies that they have given to media oligarchs via licensed spectrum. The whole secondary basis is a fundamental error that will prevent the realization of universal broadband. The spectrum allotted to TVBDs was capped before the merits were considered, due to the reluctance of taking on the NAB and license holders. Broadcast TV is given beachfront property that it is not improving on properly. Cognitive radios will enable relative abundance in spectrum, but the coexistence of incumbent technology is creating scarcity out of that abundance. If we want a nationwide free Internet plan, the FCC should instead try to grow the floor of unlicensed spectrum under 1GHz for unlicensed use by TVBDs.

2. Digital Television and the Television Bands

TVBDs are authorized to operate on about 200MHz worth of spectrum of spectrum, formerly comprising the VHF bands. The FCC has long relied on the trustee model for spectrum allocation, which assumes the public is best served when certain entities are given exclusive rights to operate (some) spectrum. The ability to exclude others in that market from broadcasting on the same channel was intended to encourage the licensee to improve the spectrum and create value for the public. Broadcasters, and the provision of free spectrum is a huge subsidy to these entities, as the licenses were granted at no cost, while enabling these companies to raise revenue via advertising.

The standard upon which they are based provides for fixed and mobile devices, which interact transmitting on between 54 and 862 MHz (Footnote to explain exactly what bands are included within that range of DTV Channels 1 – 51, for a total of about 200 MHz). The rules governing allocation of spectrum in these bands reflect an antiquated spectrum policy that created and enforces the oligopolies in wireless telecommunications and broadcast media. These entrenched broadcasters have a long history of stalling innovation in order to collect rents from consumers and keep potential competitors at bay. (Cite that America is 15th in broadband penetration). Unfortunately, regulators have missed a huge opportunity in the DTV transition to move away from the licensed model and towards communal control of the network. Although the switch to digital increased picture quality, preserved free broadcast and generated $19 Billion at auction, the primary beneficiaries were broadcasters, not consumers. The FCC licensing process has helped to entrench companies in a system where many consumers and competitors are priced out of the market and the gatekeepers decide which view points can be expressed. Certain entities and individuals are allowed to speak over the airwaves, while the rest can only listen. It was also a huge transfer of wealth from the public to private. (cite John McCain? dubbed great spectrum rip-off) In fact 89% of stations will end up with a larger footprint after the transition is complete. (cite)

Broadcast protocols such as DTV have a number of distinct characteristics that inhibit their efficient use of spectrum. The DTV protocol employs a hub-and-spoke distribution model that allows for one-way communication, distorting the public discourse towards a few voices while the other views are drowned out. [The effect of this is worsened by the general asymmetry in wire line service which may degrade performance the of competing content providers disadvantaging competing outlets, because their performance is often degraded due to bandwidth constraints.

ATSC is still a push medium, meaning it transmits regardless of presence of receivers or preferences of users. DTV is completely dead to its surroundings, and billions of dollars or bandwidth are wasted upon this feature. (cite to value of this spectrum) Furthermore, (DTV penetration expected to be below 20%). The public benefit of broadcast is obviously limited to the number of consumers that use it. This gross over production of DTV signals relative to demand blocks out other uses and help to strengthen the oligopolies in telecommunications and broadcast. Broadcasters have a number of incentives to overproduce cheap content to fill time and, therefore, to over consume spectrum bandwidth.

In addition, wireless microphones, cable television head ends, medical telemetry devices, and low power television for remote areas. Coordinating the incompatible use of these devices was traditionally solved by geographic and power restrictions, as well as dedicated certain channels for medical telemetry and wireless microphones (cite).

3. IP and Cognitive Radio The emergence of the Internet has changed central assumptions of media and communication. As network design has evolved, there is less of a need to have a central operator. The Internet infrastructure has enabled more efficient and flexible distribution of content, by pushing control of the network out towards the individuals who populate it. With the impartial IP at its core, new levels of connectivity and equality are made possible.

People around the world are connecting in countless new ways. Over the Internet, the cost of producing one's own quality content has fallen dramatically, and it is possible to connect with anyone around the world. Taken together, this is a new baseline for media in our society. (Discuss media diversity) Access to the Internet is no longer luxury reserved for one side of the 'Mercedes Divide.' (Michael Powell cite). Lack of access to broadband disadvantages the individual in many more ways than lack of access to broadcast (develop list of harms: socially, economically, culturally). Ability to access the Internet is becoming an essential input for participation in society, and will be at the forefront of nearly all FCC decisions going forward. (Cite Obama on importance of broadband). By passing up IP over the TV bands, the people's ability to watch what they want and say what they want is inhibited.

TVBDs are by no means the first cognitive radios, but they represent the first public standard to emerge using this technology. The leading text on the subject was by Mitola in 1999, but it has taken some time for the technology and standards to develop. (discuss cognitive radio features) The emergence of cognitive radios has changed central assumptions about scarcity, spectrum allocation, and media diversity. Devices will be able to passively communicate with each other directly or exchange data with a central hub. This allows any device using the basic protocol to share bandwidth, enabling a much higher degree of spectrum efficiency than broadcast, largely solving the 'scarcity problem. Effectively enabling more speech, and more speakers, in less space.

The basic concept behind cognitive radios addresses many of the shortcomings of push media, and redefines individual and unlicensed radio uses in transformative ways. The unlicensed junk spectrum where no one had the ability to exclude produced billions of dollars of innovation out of thin air. The basic characteristics of a White Space network would be just like WiFi? ; anyone with the resources to put up an access point can become a service provider without needing a license. The devices would include variable power control so they would only use as much power as they needed, with which they share spectrum, their ability to automatically limit their power to no more than is necessary., Furthermore, many cognitive radios take advantage of mesh technology, which allow devices to talk to one another, even in the absence of a central network to connect them. (cite to mesh explanation). This structural feature challenges the hub and spoke model, pushing control of the network out towards the ends (cite end-to-end principal). If properly incubated, TVBDs will lead to innovative new broadband applications, networked appliances, as well as municipal and community broadband deployments that were economically unfeasible given the limits of WiFi? . (cite to failed Muni broadband efforts)

4. November 4th, 2008

The idea of using cognitive radios in the empty TV bands began to gain traction in 2007, when Google and Microsoft lead a group calling for unlicensed use of the TV Bands. (cite to White Space Coalition) Supporters made their case that the White Spaces could support a floor of fixed and mobile Internet connectivity and transform yet again the way we interact with our environment and with others. (cite pro white space propoganda). In addition, TVBDs would offer significant competitive pressure on incumbents to improve the overall quality of Broadband offerings. (Ibid) Taking a cue from earlier unlicensed technologies, the White Spaces and TVBD technology were dubbed 'WiFi on steroids,' given the favorable prorogation characteristics of spectrum under 1GHz, and the flexibility of cognitive radios.(Cite to Larry Page) Some even believed that this technology would become an legitimate 'pipe' to consumers, and would compete with home and mobile services alike because it could solve the last mile problem.

The Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) identified the emerging 802.22 standard as the basis for TV Band Transmissions. The IEEE 802.22 working group began to develop a Wireless Regional Area Network (WRAN) standard in 2004, the first such standard based on cognitive radio. (cite to Cordeiro & Challapali) Naturally, broadcasters claimed that TVBDs ould destroy our system of free broadcast. FUD was spread to justify the generous buffers that were given, and to obscure the idea that broadcast might have to make some accommodations. (Cite MSTV CEO referring to TVBDs are 'germs') They were particularly concerned about mobile devices, which could move in and out of various broadcast footprints relatively easily. (talk about how NAB asked that mobile devices be banned altogether). The TV broadcasters jumped to the defense of their customers and the critical information function that broadcast provides as pretext for their fight to control the channels of content distribution. (cite NAB propoganda).

Although ultimately the incumbents lost the interference battle, they successfully framed the debate in a way that took as given the continued legitimacy of their licenses and their protocol. During testing, the OET expected prototype TVBDs to show they could work within dynamic, non-contiguous swaths of spectrum, while not causing any interfering with any other use in the TV Bands.

Many of the most important issues were obscured by the back and forth over interference, and forced TVBD backers to make all sorts of concessions. The rest of the Second Report & Order shows the imprimatur of capture by a powerful lobby. There was no attempt to balance the preservation of broadcast against the potential of TVBDs. Only if Broadcast television remained untouched would TVBDs be approved. Because of this, TVBDs occupy the odd position of being a tolerated but not encouraged in any way. TVBDs are forced to compete with one arm behind their backs, while no burden of any kind was to be imposed on incumbents to accommodate TVBDs. Licensed incumbents continue to have the protection of the FCC within its designated service footprint, and perhaps even outside of it as well. (cite to FCC approval of DTV translators from 11/04/08 to flesh out service footprint)

Along with full-power television, nearly a dozen analog and digital devices are permitted to operate in the TV bands, further lowering the floor of unlicensed spectrum for TVBDs to pull from. (cite Second R&O re database). Each of the other incumbent uses was given protection from TVBD interference and is protected in a similar manner as full power TV. (cite Second R&O). For example, in addition to television, an additional 6 channels (or x% of the total available), are blocked off within 134 km of the 13 largest metropolitan areas for Commercial Mobile Radio Services (CMRS), even when the spectrum is not in use. The Second Report and Order determined that TVBD experiment in cognitive radio deserved spectrum, but just how much they deserved was artificially capped due to the reluctance of taking on the NAB and license holders. Advocates of TVBDs had to back off the more contentious aspects, and tried to pitch it as a win-win. Unfortunately, TVBDs will only be successful if more spectrum is returned to the commons for them to utilize.

Furthermore the mechanisms for determining which channels can be used where the TVBD is located are conservative and burdensome. To begin, mobile TVBDs are allowed to broadcast at a maximum 100mW, and employ automatic power controls that will ensure no more power is used than is necessary. TVBDs are equipped with spectrum sensing technology that considers 'occupied' channels that report signal strength higher than -114dBm, 1000 times weaker than the minimum required to get a DTV signal. (Discuss digital cliff effect). Fixed devices are allowed to transmit at a full 1W since they will not move, but will need to be places at least 30 feet above ground. (cite) Not content with spectrum sensing, incumbents successfully pushed for the requirement of a geolocation database, that will maintain a catalog of all licensed uses, and their protected contours. (Discuss the failure of Microsoft's prototype device during testing). Because the geolocation database is the primary form of sensing, devices that are unable to access the database cannot transmit, even if they can sense free channels can determine for itself which channels are available and which are not. As we are getting a first look at the data that will fill the database available channels database, many more channels are reported as occupied than was originally expected. (compare New America Foundation data from 2006 to There is also the risk that the database will be abused, filled with false entries, etc. And the cost of building and maintaining this database will fall on the entrant, not the incumbent.

The natural consequence is a grossly over-exclusive 'no-transmit' contour. All incumbent services are adequately protected, but the database and the extremely low sensing threshold will lead to a lot of false positives, where transmitting would not cause interference, but is nonetheless not permitted. This creates a great deal of under-utilized spectrum, that may keep TVBDs from having their full impact. In most major markets, only one or two channels will be available, which is far too little to provide broadband access to a significant number of people in a community.

It was a mistake to believe that unlicensed competitors could be allowed to flourish by allowing them to transmit only the spectrum that their competitors don't care to use. Broadcasters have no incentive to use their spectrum efficiently, and in fact may give them incentives to waste spectrum. Broadcasters are given the explicit right to broadcast up to 5 signals simultaneously, multiplying the inefficiencies. (cite to article on broadcasters' multicasting plans). Although TVBDs are the most efficient and the best at sharing, they are forced to stand at the end of the line, where their miserly ways may be in vain. This misalignment of incentives makes broadcast the enemy of TVBD, regardless of its merits or utility to society. As long as TVBDs are forced to share spectrum with antiquated protocols, they will grossly underperform expectations.

5. Internal Factors limiting the potential of Television Band Devices

The Commission referred to the Second Report and Order as a 'conservative first step' to test out this new technology before letting go of the reigns. Going forward, certain preliminary requirements will drop away, as spectrum sensing develops, mobile and rural devices are allowed to transmit at a higher power, and devices can eschew the geolocation requirement./ These will improve the overall performance of TVBDs, and increase the reported number of 'free' channels at many locations. Furthermore the technology behind cognitive radios in general should continue to develop, increasing the possibility of providing broadband and of innovators having incentive to create the next killer application. (i.e. via utilizing MIMO and better mesh)

But there remain a number of internal constraints on TVBDs that will delay their entry into the market, and the speed at which they proliferate. The FCC will next convene on TVBD standards next year, but will take some time for final resolution of the technical and legal frameworks. (cite) We will have to also wait for the for the radios themselves to become commoditized before TVBDs can really take off. Larry Page stated that Google expects TVBD chips to reach $5 within 18 months. (cite panel with Kevin Martin, and others).

Another hurdle to these devices entering the market is the device approval process all devices must be approved directly by the Commission, instead of delegated through the usual processes, and each commissioner has veto power. Any Commissioner, Democrat or Republican, with reservations about the devices impact is in a position to halt the releast of TVBDs completely. The standard is set at the extremely high 'proof of performance' standard, which is intended as an 'extremely high bar.' (cite Second R & O) Given the skepticism shown these devices during testing, approval of any devices is not guaranteed. Furthermore, once on the market, any device found to cause any interruption anywhere is subject to rather Draconian recall procedures. (cite Second R & O)

Because of the inability to exclude others from this spectrum, it will also be a responsibility of the government to ensure that players emerge to provide service over these bands. Unlicensed spectrum is certainly not synonymous with free Internet access. Because of the inability to ensure you will be the only service provider on a given frequency, it may be difficulty in making credible service obligations to customers. (talk about gov't role in promoting these these networks, either by helping local government, or by giving incentives to industry).

A critical factor in how this spectrum will be services will depend on the bit rate. Using one 6Mhz Channel, this standard is capable of a maximum bit rate of over 2 MB per second. (Footnote to explain 19 mbit/s at 30 km or use 2 bit/h/s standard from Phil Gosset) Using channel bonding, the devices are capable of even higher. (Talk about range) (Throw out some estimate of total bandwidth performance in typical circumstances, and the number of people that would have to share that) (Talk about whether this qualifies as 'broadband' given new legislative definitions). Without further details regarding 802.22, speculation is premature. At a minimum, Television Band Service will bring new narrowband services, smart appliances, and basic wireless connectivity to market.

Taken together, it will be at least a couple years before TVBD devices are widely available for use. But once everything is finalized and devices and services begin to make it to market, TVBD proliferation will likely proceed relatively rapidly, given the lower cost of deployment, and the ability for network expansion via repeaters, etc. create ad hoc mesh networks, and the potential for innovation that unlicensed networks provide. (cite) [Discuss differences between urban and rural] White space networks will have significantly greater bandwidth available where the line in shorter, but rural deployments face a number of additional barriers to deployment. (Discuss problems regarding rural wireless deployments WIPs)

TVBD did not go far enough. The problems we face today in broadcast and telecommunicaitons will persist despite TVBDs, unless more aggressive action is taken. (e.g. hub/spoke model, market power/antitrust concerns, asymmetric up down speeds, lack of diverse viewpoints). FCC should not just sit around and wait for broadcast to die. TVBDs will fill out their spectrum allotment well before the potential of the technology is realized. But it will become increasingly clear that White Space devices are a higher use' of this spectrum, and that the presence of broadcast television is holding them back.

6. The FCC's approach to spectrum use and allocation

Spectrum is a public resource. The FCC is tasked with putting spectrum to its 'most efficient and effective use.' (cite to FCC Strategic Plan 2006-20011) When technology brings about advancements in spectrum efficiency and network architecture, the FCC should facilitate value-creation in that spectrum. Where use the transformative product would conflict with others, the FCC must decide how to allocate between uses. We must evaluate whose use of their spectrum creates the most externalities to others, relative to the value they offer.

The trustee model was a necessary when analog signals didn't allow coordination of uses other than physical separation. Licenses gave certainty as to who could broadcast where, which gave the necessary certainty to build the infrastructure necessary and to operate it. But wherever possible, the FCC should refrain from granting spectrum monopolies when it is not necessary to encourage investment and beneficial use. Whether granted to the highest bidder or a trusted broadcaster on a public interest theory, licenses are only a proxy for the highest use standard. Spectrum licensing is should not be seen as a source of revenue. Cognitive radios allow the network to be operated with minimal central control. The trustee/licensed model can no longer be presumptively superior in allocating spectrum. No longer must we assume that those who are willing to pay the most for spectrum will put it the higher use. We must recognize that rules that give the right to exclude to a single party have been used to harm the public. While the FCC should still play a role in encouraging the productive use of spectrum, the power to exclude others should not be the first tool off the belt. As we have seen with the development of WiFi? , that openness can encourage innovation in ways that closed spectrum will not. Supporting these companies via license subsidies is no longer worth the externalities they impose on new entrants, and no longer necessary to ensure the production and distribution of content. Nearly all broadcast content is retransmitted via cable or some other service, and new technologies allow shared distribution of content within communities.

The limits of technology were the reason licenses were given in the first place. But now that technology has largely alleviated the scarcity problem, the default allocation is unlicensed, open use. The FCC should resist claims by incumbents that only by allowing them to keep their licenses can the public interest be served. Incumbents are digging in their heels, not to protect consumers, but to protect the mode of distribution and spectrum allocation that has given them a huge advantage for decades.

Digital broadcast is a blunt instrument to distribute Television to the few people who need it. The benefits of broadband/IP are broader, both in the variety of uses and the number of users. The cost of not choosing a robust IP network to fill this spectrum will be borne by every American not holding a broadcast license. (describe how pull beats push, and how by getting only what you ask for there is more left for everyone else)

Cognitive radios offer the platform upon which the otherwise incompatible uses in the TV band can work harmoniously coordinate uses. The FCC should fully embrace that cognitive radios are legitimate and that auctions and push is no longer the presumed model. If cognitive radio technology can spread across these uses, unlicensed networks can proliferate and true equality in spectrum is within reach.

The initial policy debate policy over TVBDs centered on the 'harmful interference' of the devices, but in both the technical sense and the legal sense, TVBD are no longer a nuisance or rogue device. After November 4th, unlicensed networks in the TV band are as legitimate uses of spectrum as any other. That they do not grant exclusive rights does not mean that their right to access should be subordinated. The externalities of technological change work in both direction, and more value would be created if the incumbents were forced to internalize the cost they impose on all other who would use this spectrum. The cost of the broadcasters greed is equal to the value of the spectrum that could be saved if they had the proper incentives to conserve their spectrum. Whether missing out on billions of dollars in auction proceeds or billions of dollars of of value for consumers (or both), the FCC must seriously consider the narrow benefits and th broad externalities imposed by digital broadcast. By providing more services and a greater range of devices on the same slice of spectrum, the FCC could better fulfill its duty to put the spectrum to its highest use.

(Discuss how DTV is the best cost avoider in this circumstance, if broadcast, wireless mics, etc. were converted to an IP/packet switched/cognitive radio platform, all uses would be marching to the same beat, which would create immense efficiency gains. But it wouldn't work if other uses converted to the DTV-type protocal.)

It seems that all agree that the government has some long-standing commitment to the promotion of news and culture. The focus instead should be on how to increase access to the broadband access, and let the people themselves decide what their highest use is. Because the benefits of broadband are so critical, the FCC should focus not on the 20% that depends on broadcast, but the 25% who don't have Internet access. The FCC should refocus on subsidizing the growth technologies in pursuing truly universal broadband in this country.

So how do we grow that floor to support it? The FCC should look to optimize spectrum to the extent that it can to be responsive to this broadest and fundamental goal. By redistributing the broadcast subsidy to the commons, consumer welfare, the public interest and the constitution will all benefit.

Unlicensed cognitive radios offer unique environment for innovation, other key benefits. In unlicensed networks, the collective incentive to create is greater than the individual licensee's incentive, provided that the rules give a clear path and sufficient spectrum. The TVBD rules thus far do not give enough certainty to device manufacturers and consumers to fully realize the highest value of this spectrum. And in exchange, increase the certainty in TVBD and shore up support from device manufacturers, who may be reluctant to invest once they know the details.

7. Raising the floor of unlicensed bandwidth

In the coming years, the telecommunications landscape will also innovate in wired and wireless communications. Licensed 4G wireless technologies such, as LTE and WiMax? , and the proliferation of FTTP will significantly increase total supply of bandwidth. Conversely, the amount of spectrum occupied by broadcasters is expected to decrease in the coming years, as broadcasters struggle to maintain profitability, or decide not to make the jump to digital broadcast. (cite to ad re: tanking of TV ad revenue) There are nearly 2,000 full power and 3,000 low power stations, and a significant number of them may not make the transition. (cite)(Find information on what % loss expecting in the coming years)

These trends will incrementally grow the total amount of unlicensed spectrum, but a more aggressive approach should be taken to ensure investment in this technology is at an optimal level. The iteration of cognitive radio embodied in the White Space debate will not become a general purpose 'pipe' and compete directly with licensed services for bandwidth intensive tasks, but if it attracts enough investment, cognitive radio technology will develop at a much faster rate. In the short terms, TVBDs may only be able to peel off lower-bandwidth uses and users, as well as communities that were unprofitable to service before. The incumbents will react to this competition, but they'll only go as far as they have to. Additional pressure must be placed on them, and the only leverage you have is the license.

One of the most important thing the FCC can do in the short term is begin the process of converting other users of this spectrum to IP and cognitive radio technology. If a single standard and protocol can be adopted for all users of the television bands, this valuable spectrum can be harnessed in ways never seen before. If these other uses were made to use the same technology as TVBDs, the outcome bring Kaldor Hicks improvements. This will not come without cost, and the FCC must decide how such expense will be allocated. But if cognitive radio and IP can become the standard use of these bands, the costs of implementation will be repaid tenfold. Furthermore, the network would be more robust, reliable as the mesh becomes more and more dense.

Once the 'proof of concept' was accepted by the FCC, they have an obligation to research how the technology can be utilized to further the Commissions goal. (cite to Strategic plan re: "will gain technical knowledge") The FCC should do more inquiries to see how cognitive radio technology, specifically the 802.22 standard can be integrated into each of the other uses of the TV Bands, including wireless mics. The IEEE and device manufacturers will likely do much of the heavy lifting, but the FCC (and Congress) should focus on ensuring that our laws and regulations embrace this technology. Where there are failures to adopt the new standard, (discuss a USF for developing for these devices)Recognize that cognitive radios are the biggest advancement since and that they should have a correspondingly big impact.

Local, state and Federal governments uses a great deal of spectrum as well. To the extent governments can integrate this technology, more bandwidth will be left over for use by the commons. There also should be unmistakable signals sent to local government(discuss NTIA)

Additionally, there is no reason to wait for broadcasters to fail before going after their spectrum. Spectrum licenses are not property. (discuss potential hook to revoking licenses)(public interest hook)(mandated technical standards)

(Mandated upstream/downstream asymmetry, or mandate that no discrimination by ISPs between providers. (potentially discuss argument re constitutionality of broadcast)

The FCC probably may not be able to revoke the licenses , but perhaps the FCC began to enforce the obligations, and seek as punishment return of the license. Eliminate multicasting

Embrace anarchist distribution at the gov't level

[Resolving the incentives problem in developing unlicensed infrastructure] [But given the large up front costs, still need to encourage development of these networks somehow]. But it seems that because given the diffuse benefits, this is more naturally a gov't endeavour. Send unmistakable signals that cognitive radios are the future. To encourage deployment. Facilitate municipal deployments. (talk about Missouri v. Nixon?)

[Continue to develop cognitive radios] TVBDs are just one form of cognitive radio and we should see further advancement as more resources are poured into its potential. Beyond that, it all depends on how powerful they are allowed to be. Devices will also continue to get faster and stronger, as will service and coverage. [Induce innovation] Vs. mandated standards? Spectrum best practices? [Relationship with licensed spectrum] Mandate that 700 Mhz open access accept pay-for-the-day TVBDs service rental. Google auction patent consumers always pay market rate for spectrum, as do consumers. Make it easy to only go licensed when you need to./Breaks contracts [Long term Branch outside the TV bands]

Use unlicensed cognitive radios in all commercial bands.

Eventually the government may indentify other spectrum that could be converted to unlicensed, using the TVBD model. Gov't can get into the backbone business, purchasing broadcast infrastructure to support the network, if not picked up by other businesses.

8. Insert Conclusion



Webs Webs

r3 - 05 Mar 2009 - 20:32:48 - JulianDunn
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform.
All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
All material marked as authored by Eben Moglen is available under the license terms CC-BY-SA version 4.
Syndicate this site RSSATOM