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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2008
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Dennis Wharton
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New Microsoft Unlicensed Device Fails

--"It just stopped working," says Microsoft rep--

WASHINGTON, DC – A new prototype 'white space' device tested by the Federal Communications Commission last week failed, losing power during the FCC's second round of testing. The incident follows a July 2007 FCC report, which concluded that sample prototype 'white space' devices did not accurately detect broadcast signals and caused interference to TV broadcasting and wireless microphones.

"They were running some tests on it, and it just stopped working," Ian Ferrell, director of wireless incubation for Microsoft, told TRDaily, which first reported the device failure late Friday. The full text from TRDaily is below. The power failure was also vaguely addressed in a February 7 ex parte filed by Edmond Thomas, senior technology policy adviser to the White Spaces Coalition.

Commenting on the matter, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton said, "By failing two out of two tests at the FCC, Microsoft and the Wireless Innovation Alliance have demonstrated that unlicensed devices are not ready for prime time. This admission by 'white space' proponents vindicates beyond doubt the interference concerns expressed by broadcasters, sports leagues, wireless microphone companies and theater operators. Completing a successful transition to digital television ought not to be jeopardized by introducing risky technology that has proven to be unworkable."

Meanwhile, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) authored an op-ed published in The New York Times Saturday, expressing his concern over the use of unlicensed, personal-portable devices in spectrum designated for broadcast TV.

"Unlicensed devices, like wireless laptops and remote-controlled toys, operating in the white spaces will probably cause havoc to TV viewers, theater goers and sports fans," wrote Nadler. "While we should encourage technical developments, we should urge the F.C.C. to proceed with caution. We cannot let these new developments undermine television service or hurt key sectors of our entertainment industry."

TRDaily
MICROSOFT ‘WHITE SPACES’ DEVICE LOSES POWER

A Microsoft Corp. prototype unlicensed device the FCC used as part of the second round of its TV “white spaces” testing lost power, forcing the agency to instead use a second, identical device. In an ex parte filing yesterday in Engineering and Technology docket 04-186, Edmond Thomas, senior technology policy adviser to the White Spaces Coalition, said the “final production devices will address power issues thoroughly while the test devices were built largely to demonstrate detection and protection capabilities.” “They were running some tests on it, and it just stopped working,” Ian Ferrell, director-wireless incubation for Microsoft, told TRDaily today. Mr. Thomas said the devices submitted to the FCC are only “test vehicles so they can establish their rules,” adding they “have no resemblance” to devices that will be marketed, which he noted will have to be certified by the FCC. Microsoft said a device that fared poorly during the first round of FCC tests last year had a damaged scanner. -- Paul Kirby To date, 70 lawmakers have expressed concern over the use of unlicensed personal-portable devices in the broadcast spectrum, including:


Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Senator Pete V. Domenici (R-NM)
Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA)
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO)
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Rep. John Spratt (D-SC)
Rep. J. Gresham Barrett (R-SC)
Rep. Henry E. Brown (R-SC)
Rep. David Davis (R-TN)
Rep. Ric Keller (R-FL)
Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL)
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN)
Rep. Vito J. Fossella (R-NY)
Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY)
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY)
Rep. Howard P. McKeon (R-CA)
Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
Rep. Marion Berry (D-AR)
Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN)
Rep. David Scott (D-GA)
Rep. John Barrow (D-GA)
Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC)
Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC)
Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC)
Rep. Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC)
Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC)
Rep. Melvin Watt (D-NC)

Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC)
Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC)
Rep. David Price (D-NC)
Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC)
Rep. Gene Green (D-TX)
Rep. Ralph Hall (D-TX)
Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-TX)
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX)
Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX)
Rep. John Carter (R-TX)
Rep. Al Green (D-TX)
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Rep. Dave Hobson (R-OH)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)
Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-OH)
Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-OH)
Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA)
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA)
Rep. David Scott (D-GA)
Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)
Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-GA)
Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA)
Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL)
Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN)
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)
Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV)
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO)
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV)
Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT)
Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME)
Rep. Tom Allen (D-ME)
Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN)
Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ)

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.

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