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Comments from Frankston, Reed, and Friends

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

DPR at 8:17 PM [url]:

Open Spectrum and Spectrum Policy

I'm really excited by what may be starting to happen at the FCC. A new Spectrum Policy task force was launched earlier this year, and on a very accelerated schedule the FCC called for comments on a wide range of interesting subjects. Comments were due earlier this week on issues that related to a whole range of technical and economic ideas that might free up spectrum for innovation.

I got a chance to file my first ever comments to the FCC. A revised version of my comments in HTML can be found on my web site.

I've skimmed a fair number of the 148 filings, and am encouraged to find overlaps of interest both from people I know, and people I don't.

My friend Tim Shepard captured the issue in a metaphor that is uniquely accessible to die hard Green Bay Packers fans. The corporate execs who experience sports from their skyboxes just won't get it.

Craig Mundie of Microsoft is one of the few corporate execs who sees the value in opening up the spectrum as a platform for innovation. Refreshing.

And though Motorola has many ties to the current incumbent users, it is impressive that they include in their filing a plea for "Cognitive Radio" as defined by J. Mitola of MITRE, and also argue strongly for more spectrum to be opened for innovation.

XtremeSpectrum, one of the entrepreneurial companies fighting for the acceptance of UWB, wrote a filing that really captured between the lines some of the bruising issues that arose in the recent battle to get UWB sanctioned. Their call for transparent process, and the argument that auctions should not somehow superside Part 15's protections of unlicensed (commons?) use, are spot on, to my mind.

Other very interesting filings were made by Kevin Werbach (editor of Release 1.0 and former FCC'er), Dewayne Hendricks, Dave Hughes, New America Foundation, et al., Consumer Federation of America, Jock Gill, Steve Stroh.

Of course the bulk of the filings are made by retained Washington lawyers who file comments on just about every issue that might be relevant at all to their clients. I was surprised by this, but of course that's their job - blocking change.

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