Welcome to RF Current, a weekly electronic newsletter focusing on Broadcast technical and F.C.C. related issues. This newsletter is part of The RF Page @ www.transmitter.com, a web site devoted to TV Broadcast RF engineering. For more information see the What is... guide to the R.F. Page site.

Issues are dated each Monday, although recently I've needed an extra day(week) or two to complete each issue. Articles may be posted earlier if time permits or if there is a major, breaking story.

<<< Back to January 8 - Issue 246

January 15, 2001 - Issue 247 Final Edition

DTV - MSTV and NAB Board Reaffirm Endorsement of VSB Standard After Testing (Jan. 15)
The MSTV Board of Directors and the NAB Television Board released a statement saying:
"With the support of 30 major broadcast organizations and the oversight of technical committees consisting of some 25 engineers representing all major technical viewpoints, the broadcasting industry concluded a comprehensive, objective and expedited series of studies and tests to determine whether COFDM should be added to the current 8-VSB standard.

"We conclude that there is insufficient evidence to add COFDM and we therefore reaffirm our endorsement of the VSB standard.
The statement, however, indicated the organizations were not happy with the current performance of the ATSC standard: "We also conclude that there is an urgent need for swift and dramatic improvement in the performance of the present U.S. digital television system. We therefore will take all necessary steps to promote the rapid improvement of VSB technologies and other enhancements to digital television and direct the staffs to develop a plan and promptly submit it to the Boards."

From Resolution of the MSTV Board of Directors and the NAB Television Board.

FCC Chairman William Kennard Announces Resignation, Outlines Achievements (Jan. 12)
FCC Chairman William E. Kennard announced he will resign from the Federal CCommunications Commission on January 19th. After leaving the FCC, Kennard will serve as a Senior Fellow of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program in Washington, D.C.

At the announcement, Chairman Kennard outlined his achievements at the FCC during his 1997-2001 term. Kennard pointed to efforts the FCC took to help avert a "spectrum drought". These included an initiative to create a seconardary market in spectrum, a comprehensive spectrum management policy and introduction of advanced technologies such as ultra-wideband radio and software defined radios.

Although the FCC has received criticism for its management of the DTV transition, Chairman Kennard's achievement list noted, "In implementing the guidelines called for by Congress, Chairman Kennard resisted calls for the FCC to micromanage the transition to DTV. At the same time, he has made sure that the Commission takes the essential steps necessary to begin the transition to digital television by establishing compatibility standards and by encouraging the initial roll out of digital television to the current coverage of 64 percent of the American public."

FCC Releases Memorandum Opinion and Order on 700 MHz Service Rules (Jan. 12)
In the Second Memorandum Opinion and Order on service rules for the 746-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz bands, the FCC affirmed its decision to allow operation of base station transmitters in both the upper and lower commercial 700 MHz band. Motorola was concerned this would cause additional interference to public safety operations and filed a petition for reconsideration. The FCC said it had crafted the service rules to prevent interference.

The FCC denied a request by Motorola to always use a 0 dB clutter factor when calculating interference between commercial and public safety base stations, noting, "We therefore disagree with Motorola's across-the-board assumption of a 0 dB clutter factor to describe the signal attenuation between commercial and public safety base stations due to natural and man-made obstructions. In our view, such an assumption results in an unrealistic assessment of the general impact of commercial base stations on public safety base operations."

The FCC criticized Motorola's filing, saying, "Motorola does not indicate why base stations operating in the upper band will now cause serious interference problems when no such claim has been raised with respect to the fixed stations operating in that band. Given that the degree of interference that would be caused by a base station would be comparable, if not identical, to the degree of interference that would be caused by a fixed station, we find no basis upon which to now modify our rules for an interference scenario that has, in effect, existed since the initial adoption of the rules for the 700 MHz commercial bands approximately a year ago."

OTHER Items of Interest

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