Friday, December 29, 2006

Policing the Wireless Spectrum

This 2005 paper by Dale Hatfield - Chairman of the NTIA's Spectrum Advisory Committee - and Phil Weiser - University of Colorado Law School - underscores the need for a new model of spectrum policy and regulation for unlicensed bands. Experience with the citizen's band (CB), FRS, (and, in certain cases, licensed Private Land Mobile and Public Safety radio) demonstrates how interference caused by unauthorized uses (such as amplifiers ) and users can undermine a previously popular - or, in the case of Public Safety, disrupt life-safety - use of spectrum. In the current environment, technologies like Wi-Fi, which can take control of and fully exploit a public wi-fi network - or malicious jamming by hackers - pose the same danger. To date, proponents have argued that unlicensed bands can facilitate technological innovation and the efficient use of spectrum. But they have not explained what the FCC should do to prevent deviation from the protocols (or certified equipment) or the Commission's Part 15 Regulations (What a surprise! There ARE a few Rules!) that (if followed, would) maximize the effectiveness of shared uses of unlicensed spectrum for everyone.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Commentary on Spectrum Allocation

The author's perspective on how wireless spectrum should be allocated really opens one's eyes to why spectrum matters deserve much greater attention by the public than they currently do. Will - or should - his concepts be the future of spectrum allocation?

From the Sept/Oct 2006 issue of IEEE Internet Computing's Public Policy Technology Track

The Spectrum-Allocation Debate: An Analysis

By Thomas W. Hazlett • George Mason University


Economics, Politics, Wireless Spectrum....and You

On the same Wavelength
Aug 12th 2004

Most people do not worry much about physics or politics when, for example, they look at the colours of a rainbow. Nor do they pause much when they use a remote control for their TV set, talk on a mobile phone, listen to the radio, cook food in their microwave oven, open their car door from a distance, or surf the internet without wires. Yet these are all phenomena of electromagnetic radiation. How humans harness electromagnetic waves — and specifically those in the radio-frequency part of the spectrum — has become so important that old and new ways of thinking are now lining up for a tense confrontation that will affect numerous businesses and billions of consumers.

Full text:


Notable Quote by Intel's Sean Maloney:

"Spectrum is going to become more important and people need to get involved. The public needs to pay far more attention to spectrum allocation than it does." (2003)

While Maloney's statement was made specifically to garner support for Intel's wireless agenda at that time, the point he makes about people needing to "pay far more attention to spectrum allocation" than they do is even more critical today. The average citizen does need to become involved because spectrum matters.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Welcome to Spectrum Matters!

This is the inaugural post for this new blog, one of potentially many to come, which, hopefully, over time, will attract the attention of those interested, involved, or concerned about a resource we all, more or less, seem to be taking pretty much for granted. One that most folks, even though it's becoming more and more embedded in their daily lives and activities, really have little to no knowledge or understanding of. A resource that has become increasingly important to U.S. national (and local) defense and our economic well-being. And, a resource that, IF wisely managed, allocated, and, yes, responsibly regulated by the FCC and our government, and, IF products and services are responsibly marketed and promoted to users, can (and already has, in certain aspects) continue to improve our quality of life. This resource is know as the electromagnetic radio or RF or wireless spectrum and, this blog will attempt to inform and educate readers why Spectrum Matters.