New Senate Legislation: Thoughtful, Sound, And Balanced Approach To “White Spaces” Issue

August 4, 2006

NILES, IL, August 4, 2006 — Senator Richard J. Durbin introduced a bill this week entitled Broadband for Rural America of 2006 (S. 3820), which proposes a reasoned and thoughtful approach to the expansion of broadband services in rural America. The FCC has been looking to make more spectrum available for innovative unlicensed wireless uses, including wireless broadband. Some of this spectrum would come from space made available when traditional analog over-the-air TV broadcasts transition to digital transmission by 2009, while other spectrum may be found in narrow gaps between currently existing licensed users. While this bill will bring faster, easier information access to rural communities, Senator Durbin explained that his legislation also does so “with clear safeguards in place so that new wireless users will not cause undue interference problems with existing broadcasters, public safety officials, and others that use wireless products such as microphones." “Shure commends Senator Durbin for his thoughtful, sound, and balanced approach to the broadening of spectrum use," said Sandy LaMantia, President and CEO, Shure Inc. “I would like to thank Senator Durbin for his leadership and effective advocacy on behalf of the thousands of wireless microphone users." The bill also requires the FCC to complete a rulemaking process to make new spectrum available for wireless broadband service in rural areas as soon as practicable. The bill specifically requires the FCC to ensure that new unlicensed wireless users provide engineering testing results to prevent harmful interference problems. Shure is a member of two working groups organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology. These groups include the 802.18 Regulatory Technical Advisory Group (RR-TAG) and the 802.22 Wireless Regional Area Network (WRAN) group. The WRAN group is developing standards for unlicensed wireless broadband in the TV spectrum. Shure joined these groups to help represent the interests of incumbent TV spectrum users and to develop a standard that will help prevent interference to wireless microphones.