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25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
A series of posts describing how this all came about. (Click on picture above)

Monday, June 22, 2009

The End of Spectrum ‘Scarcity'
Opportunistic Access to the Airwaves

Here is the announcement for a conference I am speaking at on Thursday. Note you should RSVP if you want to attend.

The conference will be webcast live:

As the FCC begins its year-long process to recommend a National Broadband Plan, one starting point is to unlock publicly-owned assets that can facilitate ubiquitous, affordable broadband access. Wireless spectrum remains the most cost-effective and rapid means to deliver broadband access to rural and unserved urban residents. But as mobile broadband use continues to increase exponentially, demand for spectrum will rapidly outpace availability under current spectrum management policies.

Public policy seems stymied by the myth that spectrum is scarce. In reality, only government permission to access the airwaves (licenses) is scarce – spectrum capacity itself is barely used in most locations and at most times. This underutilized spectrum represents enormous, untapped, public capacity for high-speed and pervasive broadband connectivity. It is vital to a national broadband plan to consider policies that will encourage more intensive and efficient use of the nation’s spectrum resources.

What combination of technologies and policy reforms can open the airwaves and enable an era of pervasive connectivity? Our panel includes technology and policy experts who believe dynamic, opportunistic access to underutilized spectrum – especially federal government bands – is feasible if we can only muster the political will. One promising mechanism for making substantial new allocations of spectrum available for wireless broadband deployments and other innovation is to leverage the TV Bands Database that will be certified by the FCC for unlicensed access to vacant TV channels. Several papers describing this and other ideas to achieve more shared, dynamic spectrum access will be released at this event.

06/25/2009 - 12:15pm
06/25/2009 - 1:45pm
New America Foundation
1899 L Street NW, 4th Floor
Washington, 20036
United States
See map: Google Maps


Kevin Werbach
Assistant Professor of Law, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Co-lead on the Obama Administration's FCC Transition review

Preston Marshall
Director, Information Sciences Institute, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California
Former Program Manager, DARPA
Next Generation Communications

Michael Marcus
Director, Marcus Spectrum Solutions

Tom Stroup
CEO, Shared Spectrum Company

Sascha Meinrath
Director, Open Technology Initiative, New America Foundation

Michael Calabrese
Vice President and Director, Wireless Future Program, New America Foundation

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