Thursday, May 31, 2012

PCAST presentation on spectrum policy and technology -- attention Obama and Romney

As shown here, demand for mobile connectivity is exploding. It can not be satisfied using existing spectrum allocation policy and technology.

People have been experimenting with various forms of smart radio technology for many years, and a shift to sharing spectrum in new, dynamic, highly local ways seems inevitable.

That shift will cost incumbent spectrum owners, but pay large dividends for the economy as a whole.

The companies and nations that lead the innovation and establish the new policies and technical standards will reap large benefits. (As did the companies and nation that invented the Internet).

The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) will soon issue a report calling for the use of smart radios in sharing federal spectrum.

The report is not yet out, but you can see a 23 minute video presentation (followed by 21 minutes of good questions and anwers) on the forthcoming report with specific recommendations for policies and pilot studies. You can also download a copy of the presentation slides.
The presentation, by PCAST member and venture capitalist Mark Gorenberg, reviews the situation, makes policy recommendations and calls for pilot studies using spectrum that is currently allocated to federal agencies.

(I found one thing weird -- they advocate giving agencies budget increases as an incentive to participate. Those agencies are owned by the American public -- why should we pay them to do the right thing on our behalf?).

During the question and answer period, Gorenberg estimated that modern technology could increase wireless capacity by as much as 40,000 times and he stated that the US is in a world-wide race to lead in this technology.

One hopes this report will be taken seriously -- Obama and Romney should be pinned down on this issue.

Update, July 2012:

The report was issued:

Update, May 14, 2003:

Tom Wheeler, an Invited Expert on the report, was appointed Chairman of the FCC (

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