Courts

Broadcasters Ask Court To Hold Off On White Spaces Decision

2/07/2011 4:05 PM Eastern

The National Association of Broadcasters and the Association of Maximum Service Television Monday asked a federal appeals court to hold off on ruling on their appeal of the FCC's white spaces decision until the commission finishes hearing more challenges to those rules.

That is according to a filling to the court obtained by Multichannel News and which MSTV and NAB both described as
pro forma.
Two years ago to the day on Feb. 7. 2009, the NAB and MSTV filed suit against the commission's unanimous decision to allow allow unlicensed devices like laptops and smart radios to share the spectrum also used by digital TV stations.

Broadcasters have always been concerned that the devices could interfere with their signals, signals they are now having to defend from a government push to reclaim spectrum for wireless broadband.
It has taken a while for the FCC to come up with a process for implementing its decision, which dates to fall 2008.. It was not until just two weeks ago, for example, the FCC agreed on which companies it would allow to run a database to identify the open channels those wireless devices could use.
The FCC initially asked the court to delay a decision until the FCC decided on petitions to reconsider the decision. The FCC received the petitions from a number of parties including the cable industry, but not NAB or MSTV. Since they took the FCC's initial decision straight to court, those two were precluded from also filing petitions for reconsideration with the FCC.
The FCC ruled on those petitions last September, granting parts and denying parts, but then got petitions
to reconsider that reconsideration decision.
While suggesting the court keep the case on ice while the FCC resolves the new challenges, NAB and MSTV
have also asked the court to require the FCC to file reports every 60 days on the status of its latest reconsideration.