Open the Spectrum

November 21st, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized

I just read another great article on open spectrum by David Weinberger; something I have hyped here often. I feel I cannot post enough about this, and this is another good piece describing both the short and long-term but also the deep-term effects open spectrum could have on society – primarily that of participatory democracy. Lets hope this time it comes to pass.

  • Short term, we will see a sudden breaking free from wireless gridlock: New bandwidth available everywhere. New local radio stations. Wireless connectivity among appliances in the house. Innovations wherever action at a distance or ubiquitous access makes sense.
  • Long term, Dewayne Hendricks (founder of The Dandin Group and a member of the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council) says that we’re in the position Marconi was in 100 years ago when wireless communications were first invented. We can’t begin to imagine what’s possible, including — and Hendricks is serious about this — Star Trek-style transporters before this century is out.
  • Deep term, the unleashing of wireless connectivity will eat away at one of our last remaining social dependencies on broadcast media. Right now, if you want to broadcast you have to get permission from the Feds and you have to have lots of dough. We end up with a society that sits on a couch, facing forward, listening to what people with money have to say. Our freedom is defined by the channel changer nearby. With open spectrum, a bottom-up conversation can begin over the ether, helping to make participatory democracy real.
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