The television industry is ending some 80 years of analog broadcasting in February 2009 so that spectrum it's vacating (digital television channels can be more tightly packed) can be auctioned off to help pay for all those wonderful benefits our federal government provides. The impending spectrum auction has broadband providers and associated businesses salivating and others like incumbent broadcasters and major sports operators asserting some of their devices will cause interference (see here and here).
But some people make the case that the whole notion of spectrum is outmoded and wasteful. Consultant Gordon Cook makes the case in a post of this title. He writes:
... It is now possible to build software defined radios that can listen for other spectrum users in the neighborhood and fine tune their behavior sufficiently enough to stay out of each other’s way and hence not interfere. ¶ The problem was that, even if the Republican FCC were not controlled by the duopolists, whom it pretends to regulate, we would still be shackled by the analogue based presumption of spectrum scarcity. In a mindless effort to raise revenues for the federal government these private equity based non public good companies have paid for exclusive right to use spectrum where it was formerly thought that only a single person could ever talk in the space in a “single time slot” or frequency. ...
Link: Cook's Collaborative Edge. --Dennis