FCC approves nine White Space Database Adminstrators

In some areas, it seems that Europe is always following the US.

One of those areas is white space cognitive radio.  Whilst European and UK regulators seem content for the process to proceed at a leisurely pace, the Federal Communications Commission has recently provisionally approved nine white space database administrators for the TV band in the US.

The approved nine are:

  • Comsearch
  • Frequency Finder Inc.
  • Google Inc.
  • KB Enterprises LLC and LS Telcom,
  • Key Bridge Global LLC
  • Neustar Inc.,
  • Spectrum Bridge Inc.
  • Telcordia Technologies
  • WSdb LLC
  • The provisional approvals are subject to a number of conditions:

    1. Each of the designated database administrators must supplement its previous filings with sufficient detailed information to indicate how it will comply with the rule changes adopted in the Second MO&O. Amendments to proposals must be received by February 28, 2011. Any of the database administrators that filed separate proposals and now wish to consolidate their operations must submit an updated proposal by this same date. Any database administrators that wish to withdraw their proposals must notify the Commission by this same date.

    2. All database administrators must attend workshops to be conducted by OET to address the operation of the databases to ensure consistency and compliance with the rules and the database trials, as described herein. Each administrator shall designate a responsible party who will represent its organization at the workshops and also ensure compliance with all of the conditions herein by February 28, 2011. The first workshop is scheduled for March 10, 2011 at the Commission’s Laboratory in Columbia, Maryland.

    3. Each database administrator must cooperate with any steps OET deems necessary to ensure compliance with the rules, including for example security features.

    4. Database administrators must agree that they will not use their capacity as a database manager to engage in any discriminatory or or anti-competitive practices or any practices that may compromise the privacy of users.

    It would seem that provided the conditions are met, the US will then have nine competing whitespace databases, all of which will need to manage the same information – over the medium term that would seem to be a market ripe for consolidation.

    For this European watcher, the bigger question is whether the faster pace towards commercial deployment of white space cognitive radio technology in the US will make it much harder for European companies to compete in the white space value chain as the US sets de facto standards and operating processes.

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