White Space

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No Spectrum Shortage, Just an Allocation Problem

As a new study from Citi Investment Research & Analysis make clear, the US does not have a spectrum shortage. We've just allowed a relatively small number of carriers to control the spectrum. ... Perhaps if we had an effective "use it or lose it" policy in place, or a heavy tax on unused spectrum a more vibrant market for this spectrum would emerge. more»

WiMAX vs. WiFi

In fact WiFi (technically standard 802.11) and WiMAX (802.16) don't compete for broadband users or applications today. That's partly because WiFi is widely deployed and WiMAX is still largely an unfulfilled promise and partly because the two protocols were designed for very different situations. However, if WiMAX is eventually widely deployed, there will be competition between them as last mile technologies. Some people describe the difference between WiFi and WiMAX as analogous to the difference between a cordless phone and a mobile phone... more»

Who Controls Spectrum in the USA?

In the wake of the unprecedented boom in mobile broadband, pressure is building around the world for governments and regulators to act quickly and decisively to the frantic demand for more spectrum. The telcos are leading the charge, but the broadcasters are lobbying for their case equally vigorously. The broadcasters do not necessarily need all the spectrum they currently have, but they view mobile broadband and telcos as competitors to their monopoly on video entertainment, so they will do everything to keep them out of that market for as long as possible. more»

Exploring the Roots of Wireless Spectrum Controversy (eComm Panel)

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the The Emerging Communications (eComm) 2009 conference in San Francisco which was packed with 3 days of fascinating conversations about the future of communications. I absolutely enjoyed talking to various speakers and attendees giving me a deep level of appreciation and perspective on technical, commercial and political issues at hand -- and what is likely to come in the next few years. And speaking of politics, Lee Dryburgh, who founded eComm in early 2008, has generously allowed us to share with you a fascinating panel discussion which took place on day 3 of the conference called "Spectrum 2.0 - What's really happening?" more»

700 MHz Update: Will VZ Comply with the Rules?

Last Friday (HT: IPDemocracy), Google filed a petition [PDF] asking that the Commission ensure that Verizon understands what those "open platform" requirements for the C Block really mean. Verizon has taken the position in the past that its own devices won't be subject to the "open applications" and "open handsets" requirements of the C Block rules, and Google says it is concerned that Verizon doesn't plan to follow those requirements in the future. This is big. Here's the background... more»

No Free Super WiFi, But the US Still Needs Improved WiFi Coverage

The FCC has long battled for a more efficient deployment of unused spectrum, endeavouring to adapt rules governing 'white space' TV spectrum (largely gifted to broadcasters years ago, and generally in the 700MHz band) to newly released spectrum (in the 600MHz band). This will considerably improve wireless broadband coverage where it is needed most... Certainly, in the US's disjointed broadband sector there are considerable challenges ahead... more»

Spectrum Crisis: Wireless Auctions Preferred Method

Talk, conjecture and analysis have predicted a wireless spectrum crisis for years. The official word seems to project a culmination of dropped calls, slow loading of data, downright network access denials as impending by 2015. If so, then we should look at the current argument about how that additional spectrum can be disseminated to wireless carriers in a fair and balanced fashion. more»

Absolutely No Wireless Spectrum Shortage in 2010

Sure the iPhone has problems, but John Stankey of AT&T thinks restoring a $2B capex cut will fix them. It may take a little more money than that, but Glen Campbell of Merrill Lynch has confirmed he's on track. In a 50 page report that's one of the best I've read in years, Merrill destroyed the common belief that wireless has a significant spectrum shortage. more»

Ten Telecom Tsunamis

The telecom industry five years from now will be unrecognizable. The creative destruction of the Internet broadly writ will be even greater than it has been in the last decade. The major telcos, the major television networks, and the major cablecos -- if they still exist at all -- will have very different revenue models than they have today. That's the good scenario... more»

Free, Slow, Censored Internet: A Bad Idea

The FCC is looking for an organization to provide free, slow, and censored Internet access. The censorship apparently would include email as well as websites. According to an article in today's Wall Street Journal: "Outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin is pushing for action in December on a plan to offer free, pornography-free wireless Internet service to all Americans, despite objections from the wireless industry and some consumer groups [nb. and from me]... The winning bidder would be required to set aside a quarter of the airwaves for a free Internet service [nb. the WSJ hasn't got that part quite right]." more»

Goo Goo Goggles: 700MHz Spectrum Auction and the U.S. Taxpayers

Scott Cleland claims the open access rules on 700MHz spectrum triggered by Google's bid fleeced the US taxpayer by $7bn. I don't buy it, even as a signed-up fully-paid network neutrality opponent. Firstly, the numbers ignore economics. If the C block was encumbered, that would raise the prices of the A and B blocks. So you need to take a much smaller differential as to the cost of the encumbrance. more»

More on 700 MHz Block C Hits Reserve Price

This is big... For the upper band C Block, the FCC mandated that any winning licensee have in place "no locking" and "no blocking" provisions conditioning its use of this spectrum: "Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee..." The no-locking, no-blocking requirements were hedged in by substantial limitations... But it's still important... Particularly if Google is the winning bidder, something we may not know for a month or so. more»

Google Playing to Win in the 700 MHz Auctions

Many say Google will bid to lose in the upcoming 700 MHz auctions and many more are equivocating. The idea is Google's entry alone will induce enough openness, and besides they couldn't afford to become an operator. This shows a total lack of understanding! more»

Policies to Promote Broadband Access in Developing Countries

In the 2014 Istanbul-Turkey IGF workshop on policies to promote broadband access in developing countries organised by Rui ZHONG of ISOC China, we realized that while technological solutions are advancing rapidly, policy and regulations remain a significant barrier to affordable internet especially in the developing world. According to a report by Alliance for Affordable Internet ( A4AI), the key to affordability is the policy and regulatory environment that shapes the different actors in the market. more»

FCC Proposes Super Wifi Networks Across the U.S.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing the creation of "Super WiFi" networks across the United States providing free, highspeed, long-range WiFi networks, according to a report from the Washington Post. more»