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TV Bands Database Administrator Workshop. April 20, 2011 Office of Engineering and Technology FCC. General Issues and Questions. Alan Stillwell Office of Engineering and Technology Hossein Hashemzadeh Media Bureau. General Issues. Update:

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Tv bands database administrator workshop

TV Bands Database Administrator Workshop

April 20, 2011

Office of Engineering and Technology


General issues and questions

General Issues and Questions

Alan Stillwell

Office of Engineering and Technology

Hossein Hashemzadeh

Media Bureau

General issues
General Issues


The new FCC/OET TV white spaces web page is now available at

Information on TV whites spaces equipment authorization will also be available on the KDB website at

If you have suggestions for information to post on these sites, please let us know.

The address for e-mail inquiries on TV white space issues is

General issues1
General Issues


Draft APIs for obtaining electronic access to records for certified TVWS devices on the Equipment Authorization System (EAS) are available from the OET TVWS Lab Services

The APIs “getWhitespaceauthorizations” and “getFCCIDList” are posted on the KDB at:

Interested parties can file comments on these draft APIs (see KDB page).

General issues2
General Issues

Information: Requests for waiver of the 80 km limit on registration of cable headend and low power TV receive sites:

24 parties filed requests for a waiver

17 requested registration of translator receive sites, specifying a total of 120 sites.

7 requested registration of cable headends, specifying 48 sites and 163 received stations.

FCC will issue a public notice requesting comment on the requests that it received and will subsequently issue decisions on those requests.

No timetable has been established for processing these waiver requests.

General issues3
General Issues

Question 1: What is the status of actions on the petitions for reconsideration?

Answer: We still do not have an estimated completion date for a decision (MO&O) on these, but the drafting process is progressing

Question 2: How do database administrators know which construction permits in the CDBS have been built, i.e., are to be protected?

Answer: The CDBS license application records indicate the file number of the construction permit they cover. The technical information for a license application can be obtained from the construction permit record indicated by that file number.

General issues4
General Issues

Question 3: Question: Are the APIs for web services limited to retrieval of EAS information on TV bands devices (TVBDs)?

Answer: Yes

Question 4: Will the access provided by these APIs use a secure interface?

Answer: Yes – https

General issues5
General Issues

Question 5: Will the type of TVBD be identified on the EAS records, e.g., personal portable, fixed?

Answer: Yes, the EAS certification records will identify whether the equipment is for fixed, Mode I, Mode II or operation or a combination of those types of operation. The KDB that lists the webservice interface will be updated to define the new equipment classes.

General issues6
General Issues

Question 6: Are the DBAs expected to just verify that a TVBD is authorized, or must they also identify the type of device/operating mode? If the latter, the FCC should provide information that the DBAs can use to do that.

Answer: A database must be able to determine if a device is a fixed device or a personal/portable device in order to determine an appropriate list of available channels for the device. The type of operation for which a device has been approved will be available from its EAS certification record. The DBA will also need to be able to determine the operating mode of a device from the registration of a fixed device or from requests for channel lists from a personal/portable device.



Alan Stillwell


Hossein Hashemzadeh


III: 10

Wireless microphones

Wireless Microphones

Alan Stillwell

Office of Engineering and Technology

Mary Bucher

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau

Wireless microphones1
Wireless Microphones

  • There are a number of open questions regarding registration of wireless microphone sites.

  • We need to provide more information in this area, and especially on the registration process.

  • We are inclined to add the option that Shure has suggested for adding registration of licensed wireless microphones to the FCC registration system for unlicensed wireless microphone sites.

  • In this section, we describe the planned FCC wireless microphone site registration process and then provide answers to specific questions that have been raised.

Wireless microphones2
Wireless Microphones

Registrations - General

  • DBAs must update information daily to ensure


  • DBAs can just add registered sites to their

    databases immediately upon acquisition from the ULS

  • Protection will be based on schedule of usage

  • DBAs need to delete registrations that are no longer


    • Expired

    • Cancelled

Tv bands database administrator workshop

Unlicensed Wireless MicrophoneApplication

  • Filed electronically in ULS

    • New radio service

    • FRN required

  • Process

    • Redlight check

    • Listed on webpage

      • Seven calendar days for comment; 5 for replies

    • Verification of eligibility

    • Staff will evaluate comments

  • Certain minor amendments/modifications

    • Administrative Information (operator and contact info)

    • Time

Unlicensed wireless microphone registration
Unlicensed Wireless MicrophoneRegistration

  • Unique registration created in ULS

  • Up to one year term

    • Can be renewed

    • Renewal not subject to 30 day process

  • Normal ULS statuses

    • Active, Cancelled, Expired

  • Appear in download files/available daily

Unlicensed wireless microphones registration continued
Unlicensed Wireless Microphones Registration (Continued)

  • Administrative Updates

    • Includes changes to time

    • Switching out channels

  • No technical changes

    • Coordinates

    • Adding channels

Licensed wireless microphones
Licensed Wireless Microphones

  • Similar to unlicensed wireless microphone registration

    • Same filing process

    • Up to one year term

    • Registrations can be renewed

  • No public comment

  • Error free applications will be automatically granted

Wireless microphones3
Wireless Microphones

1. Question: How should time/schedule information be reported (when microphones will be used)?

Answer: Wireless microphone schedules are to be maintained in half-hour increments and include the television channels used, with events/channel reservations scheduled for specific calendar days.

In the case of registrations for licensed microphones acquired by a DBA, the specific means of recording the operating schedules at registered wireless microphone sites is at the discretion of the individual administrators. The DBAs must work cooperatively in exchanging scheduling information for their wireless microphone registrations to ensure that all database systems reflect the same schedules for any given registered site.

Wireless microphones4
Wireless Microphones

2. Question: What time reporting formats, etc. will be used for the FCC registrations?

Answer: We will work this out with the systems contractor and advise the DBAs once a format has been determined.

3. Question: What type of information will need to be entered into the ULS?

Answer: The information to be entered for wireless microphone site registrations is set forth in the rules. We will not collect information on the specific microphones that are used.

Wireless microphones5
Wireless Microphones

4. Question: Voluntary registrations of licensed wireless microphone sites with DBAs – How are the DBAs to handle the initial volume of registrations at the beginning of the service.

Answer: This is a start-up element and the database administrators and the FCC will just need to be prepared to deal with it. If it takes more than a few days to complete the registration process for individual registrants, that would be acceptable at start up time. Note that we also understand that there may be system “bugs” that arise at start-up time that can delay operations.

Wireless microphones6
Wireless Microphones

5. Question: What user interface characteristics should be provided for registrations of licensed wireless microphone sites, e.g., what feedback should be provided on whether a registration is successful?

Answer: A return message providing confirmation of the registration should be sufficient, perhaps with a confirmation number, date and contact information so that the registrant has a record to point to in case it has any questions for the database base administrator.

Wireless microphones7
Wireless Microphones

6. Question: What procedures should be followed to avoid errors if a wireless microphone

licensee registers a site with multiple databases?

Answer: We recommend that the database systems’ facilities for registration of wireless microphone sites provide an explanation of how the registration process and synchronization of registrations works, i.e., explain that it is only necessary to register with one database and that that registration will be forwarded to other databases within one-day. If mis-matched duplicates occur, the DBAs can consider the registration to be in error (should notify the registrant).

7. Question: Can a DBA reject corrupted data?

Answer: DBAs can and should reject bad data. We also encourage DBAs to report errors to responsible parties as appropriate for corrections.



Alan Stillwell


Mary Bucher


III: 23

Determination of available channels

Determination of Available Channels

Robert Weller

EMC Division

Office of Engineering and Technology

Goal all db providers provide the same list of channels
Goal: All db providers provide the same list of channels.

Reference lists of operating TV stations (including full-service, LPTV, TV Translator, and Class A) now available at:

Terrain: USGS NED 1-arc second resolution

Uses NAD83/NAVD88 datums

More complete coverage

Eliminates errors in “old” 3-second DEM

C H A N G E!

III: 25

80 km waivers
“80-km” Waivers

Receive Site Protection (CATV, TV Translators, Relay stations, etc.)

April 5 deadline for requests has passed.

283 individual facilities are being considered for waiver, based on requests received to date.

Plan to release a list of waiver-based protected facilities as a Public Notice.

If granted, DBAs will need to include them for appropriate protection

III: 26

Contour calculations
Contour Calculations

Distributed Transmission System (DTS) Stations

Analyze protected receivers using “strongest server” technique

III: 27

Bad and missing data
Bad and “Missing” Data

If FCC record data are suspect, please let us know!

FCC errors will be corrected promptly

Licensee errors must be corrected by licensee

DBAs can “construct” data if it can be determined unambiguously from other information in record

Example: CRAMSL = Site Elevation + CRAGL

III: 28

Lpdds and experimental
LPDDS and Experimental

Use License record associated with 12 stations listed in Section 336(h)(2) of the Communications Act.

You can ignore STA and Experimental records for those stations SEE STA UPDATE ON 2/12 Q&A

Why aren’t experimental licenses protected?

Experimental users are traditionally not protected. If protection is required, seek STA under licensed service.

III: 29


Use if there are questions about specific situations.

We will respond, and post interpretations on KDB.

III: 30



Robert D. Weller

Chief, Technical Analysis Branch


III: 31

Database coordination and synchronization


Ira Keltz

Office of Engineering and Technology

Rule requirements


DBAs must synchronize the TV bands database with the current Commission databases at least once a week to include newly licensed facilities or any changes to licensed facilities.


DBAs must develop a standardized process for providing on a daily basis or more often, as appropriate, the data collected for registered protected facilities.


Issues from 1 st workshop

What does it mean in the rules that DBAs have to share information on fixed TVBD registrations?

Some TVBDs may only work with one DBA.

15.715(l) requires DBAs to share registrations on a daily basis

Necessary to:

facilitate the public availability of registrations

assist parties in locating the source of any interference that may occur

Locations of fixed TVBDs are considered a registration

Although some TVBDs may only work with one database, the data records should be similar

Sharing that data should not be problematic


Issues from 1 st workshop1

Inter-database coordination – how should the database systems deal with delays in sharing?

i.e., information between databases (time tolerance)?

Highest level of protection results from real-time or near real-time sharing of information

Determined by interoperability interface used between databases (secure FTP or web services)

Question to DBAs: What are your plans for data sharing?

If real-time or near real-time, then non-issue

Otherwise, delay in promulgating information regarding protection

Licensed microphones can:

Use the two reserved channels

Use channels prohibited for TVBD use

Register with all DBAs

Creates reconciliation issues for DBAs




Ira Keltz



III: 36



Hugh Van Tuyl

Office of Engineering and Technology

Security testing
Security Testing

  • Question: How will TVBDs be tested for security? What about the relationship between TVBD manufacturers and DBAs - can they enter into proprietary arrangements?

  • Answer: We will review the DBAs description of the security features of its system rather than perform any direct testing of those features on the implemented system. Manufacturers and DBAs can enter into proprietary arrangements so long as they are in compliance with the rules. The DBAs need to provide the specific arrangements they have between the manufacturers and the administrator. In these cases, we would expect that a TVBD submitted for testing will have some approval from the DBA on the implementation of access protocol.

Security features
Security Features

  • Question: What security features are required for DBA certification vs. what the FCC would like DBAs to do? What security features can be left to DBAs as business decisions?

  • Answer: The rules define the security features that are to be provided and the DBAs must provide information describing the features its system has and how it has implemented those features to comply with the rules. In general, this means that DBAs need to provide a high-level description of their security measures and how they comply with the qualitative standard indicated at the workshop. We may ask for additional information if needed.


  • Question: Are we looking at co-location and power back-up to ensure database reliability? Why is FCC is concerned about reliability as part of DBA certification?

  • Answer: We believe that reliability is an important element of a TVWS database system to ensure that large numbers of devices are not suddenly required to cease operation due to lack of database service. However, reliability is not specifically addressed in the rules so we are not going to subject the database systems to any reliability standards or requirements. Nevertheless, we urge the database administrators to configure their systems with appropriate and adequate reliability measures to minimize the disruption of service to TVWS devices. Such measures would typically include back-up power supplies, off-site systems redundancy and off-site back-up of records.

Reliability levels
Reliability levels

  • Question: Will DBAs be allowed to have different contracts with manufacturers for different levels of reliability?

  • Answer: Yes. However, issues of reliability (database availability) should not affect a DBAs ability to control rogue TVBDs. We do not want to approve a TVBD that would not function in accordance with its stated operating plan under the service level agreements its DBA puts in place if the database will not be sufficiently reliable to supports such operation. Therefore, we will require the DBAs to inform us as to the target levels for reliability in their system design.

Retention of records
Retention of records

  • Question: There was concern expressed about retaining TVBD and channel information for 30 days for possible audits because this information can be voluminous. How to should the DBAs handle this?

  • Answer: High volume data storage units are now available at very reasonable prices and in sizes that are not physically large. We think a 30-day storage requirement is needed and will not be unduly burdensome on the database systems.

Data security
Data security

  • Question: Is a DBA responsible for security of both ingress and egress of data that is registered?

  • Answer: Yes. It is important to have both ingress filters to screen new data and egress filters to ensure that data has not been corrupted in the database systems internal processes, including any manual processing/modifications that may be used.

Single and multiple databases
Single and multiple databases

  • Question: Can a TVBD communicate with only one database?

  • Answer: Yes. It is also allowable for a TBVD to communicate with more than one database. Such operations might, for example, be desirable it different databases provide specialized services.

Information pass through
Information pass through

  • Question: What methods are to be used for pass through of information on channel availability from fixed devices to Mode 1 and Mode 2 devices?

  • Answer: In the case of Mode 2 devices, a fixed device just passes through a request for channel availability directly to the database. The fixed device does not contact the database on behalf of the Mode 2 device; thus, the contact with the database is the same as if the Mode 2 device’s request arrived from a direct Internet connection. In the case of Mode 1 devices, a fixed device must send the Mode 1 devices FCC ID to the database for verification that the Mode 1 is certified before it can provide a list of available channels. The fixed device must also obtain from the database a list of the channels that are available for the Mode 1 device to use.



Hugh Van Tuyl


III: 46

Compliance and enforcement


Ira Keltz

Office of Engineering and Technology

Issues from 1 st workshop2

How will the FCC notify DBAs when a TVBD or model of TVBD should be denied service or when some other enforcement action is to be taken?

By letter from Chief Engineer to DBAs

Letter will identify device(s) or protected entity(ies) at issue and provide specific instructions regarding the action to be taken

Could include:

Denial of service to a specific fixed device

Denial of service to a specific model of device

Entire U.S.

Specific geographic areas


Issues from 1 st workshop3

Turning off a class/model of devices across entire U.S. may not be necessary. Can the FCC be more tailored in its response to IX?

Goal is to tailor enforcement actions as appropriate

Could include:

Denial of service to a specific fixed device

Denial of service to a specific model of device

Entire U.S.

Specific geographic areas

Actions are dependent on the capabilities of the database systems


Issues from 1 st workshop4

What will be the process for reporting and checking on interference problems?

All complaints received by DBAs should be referred to the FCC

FCC will determine how to proceed

FCC will be responsible for identifying source of interference

May request information from the DBAs to determine locations of TVBDs in the area of the complaint and the channels available for operation

Request could cover up to previous 30 days




Ira Keltz



III: 51

Final approval and testing of database systems

Final Approval and Testing of Database Systems

William Hurst, Rashmi Doshi, Alan Stillwell

Office of Engineering and Technology

Capabilities to be examined
Capabilities to be Examined

  • FCC to examine database contents

    • FCC staff will examine database contents

    • Verify a selection of each type of record

      • records for protected facilities from FCC databases

      • FCC certified equipment (FCC IDs and serial numbers)

      • records for registered operations – demonstrate registration capabilities

Capabilities to be examined1
Capabilities to be Examined

  • Synchronization of records

    • Records obtained from another database

    • Time to transfer from another database

    • Verify a selection of synchronized records

Capabilities to be examined2
Capabilities to be Examined

  • Channel availability calculator – verify that the available channels returned for a selection of geographic locations is correct

    • FCC to examine calculator operation (direct input of coordinates)

    • Return correct lists of available channels for a selection of coordinates that will examine the ability of the calculator to protect all types of records and sites protected by coordinates in the rules

    • Verify that reserved channels are protected

    • Verify that the channels and facilities required by the rules are protected

    • Compare the data with FCC calculations

Capabilities to be examined3
Capabilities to be Examined

  • Security

    • Examination of the documentation of the security measures

    • Communications between device and database

    • Database-to-database synchronization communication

    • Records stored in the database are secure (database versions and transactions must be stored for at least 30 days)

    • Database’s processing software (records management, transactional and channel determination) is protected from disruption or unauthorized modification

    • Database communication with certified TVBDs

    • FCC will provide temporary data for “dummy” devices so the databases can be tested

Capabilities to be examined4
Capabilities to be Examined

  • Database reliability – depending on the system design goals

    • Maintain service in cases of maintenance and equipment failure – including service from primary ISP

    • Power loss or systems failure

    • Back-up of records, including both the database and transactions with TVBDs, in case of disruption of in-service operations

Capabilities to be examined5
Capabilities to be Examined

  • Public access

    • Reserved channels – public can identify the two reserved channels at a given location

    • Public access to information in databases – FCC records and information in records collected by the database administrator, including information on fixed TV bands devices that register with the databases

Capabilities to be examined6
Capabilities to be Examined

  • FCC access

    • API interface (not publicly available)

    • Web-based

    • Perform tests with TVBDs

    • Audit trails – access to detail records for which devices requested access at specific times and locations

    • Contact for FCC to request actions by the database administrator to deny channel lists to specific TVBDs and models of TVBDs at the request of the FCC Chief Engineer and database capabilities to implement such actions

Scheduling of review
Scheduling of Review

  • Database administrator approvals/trials will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis

  • Review can be conducted concurrently with the 45-day trial period for database operation

  • Send requests to start final approval process to FCC Chief Engineer

  • Provide documentation, if not already submitted in previous filings, about the database to allow system evaluation

Database information
Database Information

  • Question: What process will the FCC use for DBAs to file additional descriptive information for certification of the database systems; will this information be public or confidential?

  • Answer: The DBAs will be expected to file a request for authorization and provide information needed for the FCC to evaluate whether their systems will comply with the operational requirements of the rules. DBAs may request confidentiality for portions of such submissions under the provisions of Section 0.459 of the rules.

45 day trial
45-Day Trial

  • Test sample locations will be as identified in workshop 1

  • Database update and registration operation to be examined

  • Database synchronization to be examined if a second database is available (synchronization operation of first database to be checked when second database trial is conducted)

45 day trial1
45-Day Trial

  • Database may be tested with a TVBD during the trial if one is available

  • Trial to be determined acceptable when

    • results consistently match (or show de minimis differences from) FCC results at end of trial period or extension as may be appropriate;

    • database update and registration procedures function reliably and regularly; and

    • database security provisions (primarily reliability during the trial) are found satisfactory

Database approval
Database Approval

  • Approval may be in phases:

    • Database only (operating with FCC systems)

    • Database interoperating with another database

    • Database operating with TVBD(s)

    • End-to-end field trial of the database with TVBDs and with populated protected entity information

Database testing
Database Testing

  • Question: Does database system approval require testing with a TVBD? Does the TVBD have to be certified already? Can we just build a prototype device for testing the DB?

  • Answer: Database system testing will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase, we will make a determination that the DBA has demonstrated that its system complies with the rules without a device. For testing the channel availability calculations, the FCC and others will enter coordinates and the database system will provide a list of available channels at that location. In this phase the database interfaces for the information input and output will also be tested. This will include interfaces for the FCC as well as the other parties allowed to interact with the databases.

Database testing1
Database Testing

  • Answer (cont’d): In the second phase, we will test the database system with a device. If a device is available for operation with the DB when we make the determination that the DB system is compliant, we will immediately proceed to phase two and test the device and the database together. This would provide a final acceptance test of the DB and also the device if the device has not already been tested with a different DB system (if we find problems we’ll have to figure out which is the source; it could be both).

    If a device that accesses the DB system is not immediately available when we make the compliance determination for the DB system, we’ll make the final acceptance tests for it when a device that accesses it is available.) We’ll conduct testing of synchronization capabilities when another database is available. We will need to use a device that is suitable for certification for the phase two testing. If a database has been tested without a TVBD, the initial approval would be conditional until the database can be tested with a TVBD, submitted for approval and available for communication with the specific database.

Multiple database testing
Multiple Database Testing

  • Question: How do we test databases 3 or 4, if databases 1 and 2 are already live? How do the live database systems know that the data they are getting is test data (interoperability) and not real data?

  • Answer: We will generally use the same the test data with specific test manufacturer codes and IDs for registrations for all testing. We will advise the administrators of the live database systems that they can ignore those records. The test records will be deleted as soon as active testing of database systems is completed and then re-entered when testing is to commence for another system. We also invite discussion with the database administrators on this issue.

Tvbd certification
TVBD Certification

  • Question: To certify a TVBD, the FCC has to be able to test it with at least one database system. Is this going to be a problem? How will this type of test be set-up?

  • Answer: We will first conduct all of the examination and bench testing of a TVBD. Once that is completed satisfactorily, we will test the device with one or more of the databases with which it is designed to operate.

    • If a database for operation of the device is not yet available, the device approval process will be suspended until an approved and operational database is available.

    • In the early phases of testing, we also plan to conduct field tests with the devices. For such tests, we will take the device around to a number of locations and compare the channels it receives for operation with the channels we get from our own calculations. We’ll also need to make sure that the device transmits only on the available channels. In order to perform these tests we will need multiple devices to see how they communicate with each other.

Database interoperability testing
Database Interoperability Testing

  • Question: How do we test for TVBD verification? How do we test for DBA interoperability? If the protected entities are not the same in each DB, how do we set up tests? Will tests cover facilities registered directly with DBAs?

  • Answer: We will first examine the description of the methods used to 1) ensure that the database only provides channels service to certified TVWS devices and 2) the methods used by the device to contact a database for such service and then make a comparative evaluation as to whether those specifications are a functional match. If a device is to be interoperable with multiple databases we will examine the description of its capabilities with respect to operation with each database with which it is to operate. We are still developing our plans for actual testing of devices and invite discussion on these issues.

Database interoperability testing1
Database Interoperability Testing

  • Question: Will we and how will we test functionalities other than available channels?

  • Answer: We will develop user interface test scenarios for the database. The functions tested will be to review the screens associated with various input and output requirements.

Database trial period
Database Trial Period

  • Question: When will testing of database systems begin and end?

  • Answer: The final approval process for a database system will start when we receive a request from the database administrator.

    • We will evaluate the information submitted with the request along with any previous submissions. As a result of the review we may request additional information.

    • Conduct testing of the database. These tests will include evaluation of the various interfaces to receive and transmit data from the system. The database will be tested with available TV Band Devices, including field tests.