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December 28, 2003

Radio for the masses

Government Computer News:

A notice of proposed rule-making released this week by the Federal Communications Commission might lead to big changes in oversight of the nationís radio-frequency spectrum...

The notice... seeks ideas on how to encourage use of smart radios, or wireless communications devices that are more flexible at using RF spectrum.

FCC chairman Michael Powell, in a statement accompanying the notice, said that smart radio technologies will become necessary. There is a shortage of spectrum for new wireless services, while much of the spectrum already allotted goes unused.

If this were implemented right, it would do even more than make more effective use of radio spectrum. It would bust-open the current limits on the creation of low-budget, specialized, radio stations. With a properly designed spectrum architecture, anyone could set up a small (inexpensive) transmitter and start broadcasting. (No worries about interfering with other stations. Just like when you setup a new wifi basestation.) You could broadcast special interest music, local news, personal opinion. It's free speech/press in a new powerful form.

Unfortunately this cool potential is one of the biggest barriers to its implementation, or at least its proper implementation. The IP cartel will oppose it because it dilutes the value of their existing channels and frequencies. Look what they've done to kill internet radio.

Posted by jghiii at December 28, 2003 01:27 PM
Posted by: Mark on December 30, 2003 07:37 AM

Oh, you mean like the radio station in the attic you used to have? Hmmmmm, you should stop by. I've still got the 45's.

Posted by: Jack Hodgson on December 31, 2003 11:26 AM

Hah, you're trying to give me a hard time here, but that's EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Except under the new system, our programming could have been available to people all over the neighborhood, or even further.

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