Does Spectrum Policy Abridge Free Speech?

January 23rd, 2003 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized

Bob “Connectivity” Frankston’s latest essay is up. In this, he asks: if spectrum allocation’s inefficiency puts the airwaves into the hands of the moneyed few, does that constitute an abridgment of speech?

It’s as if we were having a party and someone came into the room and told everyone to be quiet and gave out pieces of paper with a time and a place telling each person when and where they could talk. If there were a possibility young people would overhear you couldn’t use certain words even if there were no other venues and even if you felt the language was appropriate for them. Put that way it seems outrageous. Yet if we communicate using radio waves instead of sound waves that is precisely what the FCC is doing.

Fantastic argument. Now if only we can get the legislative and judicial branches of government to see that monied spectrum allocation is unconstitutional. Fat chance.

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