in Freedom to Connect, Future of the Internet, Networks

Infinite spectrum vs scarcity hype

David Isenberg explains that spectrum for various forms of wireless transmission and communication is treated as scarce, similar to real estate, because a scarcity model works for “cellcos” (cellular communication companies, former telcos) In fact, spectrum is infinite. [Link]

The core of the story is whether or not spectrum is a rival good. A rival good is something that when it’s used by one party can’t be used by another. The cellcos say it is. Current FCC regulation does too. But David Reed has repeatedly pointed out that physics — our understanding of physical reality — says otherwise. The article paraphrases him: electromagnetic spectrum is not finite. Not finite. In other words, infinite.

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