NAB Seeks White Spaces Vote Delay

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You didn't really believe the broadcasters were going to go gently into that digital good night, did you? No sooner had Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel and a host of other tech luminaries rushed out statements praising FCC Chairman Kevin Martin for scheduling a Nov. 4 vote on white spaces, the National Association of Broadcasters filed an "emergency request" to delay the vote.

Martin decided to move on white spaces and throw his support to the use of unlicensed broadband devices in television's interference buffer spectrum after the FCC's Office of Engineering Technology issued an Oct. 25 report finding the use of the devices will not create undue interference with broadcasters' shiny, new digital channels.

Citing Martin's "flawed" reading of his engineers' report, the broadcasters fretted over the FCC making a "hasty" decision and Oct. 17 filed its emergency request. If granted, the vote would be delayed until next year.

The FCC is taking the request under consideration, but Ars Technica quotes agency spokesman Rob Kenny as being less than optimistic about the broadcasters' chances of derailing the vote.

"We just received their request and are reviewing it," Ars quotes Kenny. "It is, however, important to note that this proceeding has been open for several years and recently included multiple rounds of testing in the lab and field, which were open to the public and provided all interested parties with ample opportunities to comment and provide input."