The Challenge of the Spectrum Crisis

Over at CNet, Larry Downes has a must-read article on America’s looming spectrum crisis and the challenges ahead:

Short- and medium-solutions to the spectrum crisis are possible, but won’t come easily. Avoiding disaster in the mobile ecosystem requires a combination of smart technology investments, innovative business practices, and policy reforms likely to offend vested interests.

Each is valuable on its own, but coordination will be crucial if we are to improve spectral efficiency enough to keep mobile users going while we wait for the incentive auctions to run their course.

Even if we get through the next few years, it’s clear that staving off future crises will require radical changes to spectrum management. The patchwork quilt woven by 85 years of quixotic and often political decision-making has left U.S. airwaves dangerously inflexible and unnecessarily fractured. The accelerating pace of technological innovation is on a collision course with command-and-control assignment of spectrum. Something has to give.

Read the whole thing.

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