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December 18, 2008


Doesn't the FCC whitespace decision mean that it will soon become absurdly cheap to implement a WiMax like service. Isn't Google likely to do this while providing essentially free phones (via IP telephony) in exchange for you having to look at advertising.

Enormous productivity gains? I'm not seeing where, exactly. Especially in the coming (near)depression.

Thanks for this -- I love these posts. I don't have anything interesting to say about them, but I love them.

What Hilzoy said. Just because people aren't commenting doesn't mean we aren't reading!

What I don't understand about spectrum policy is why broadcast television continues to hog such a big chunk of it.

Already, people like me who don't have a cable or satellite TV subscription are down to < 1/8 of American households. And of course most of that 1/8 has cable running to their houses, but don't subscribe.

If the government brokered some sort of deal requiring the cable companies to set a reasonable price to charge broadcast TV stations to provide their channels for free to subscribers and nonsubscribers alike, the TV stations could pay that fee to the cable companies instead of having to maintain broadcast equipment, and there'd be hardly anyone left who was dependent on the broadcast spectrum for their TV.

So you've got this huge chunk of spectrum effectively servicing a vanishingly small piece of the population. It makes absolutely no sense at all.

That spectrum could of course be used for many things - make available a big chunk of quality spectrum, and people will come up with all sorts of ways it can be used - but wireless broadband is the obvious one: if you can pluck the Internet straight out of the air, then you can get most other telecom-style services via the wireless Web.

The government needs to continue to release more unlicensed spectrum. Private sectors took 2.4GHz from stereos to city-wide deployments with ridiculous technical limitations. Imagine what would happen if they government gave the private sector frequencies in the 700MHz band or allowed the 5.4GHz band more power, etc... Good lord, the cost of deployment would go way down. Triad has taken the cost municipal wireless down to less than $5000 per square mile. Hmmm, lets compare that with the cost of a cell-tower and the subsequent billions it cost to get the frequency license.

I actually haven't read this entire post. I stopped at the point you said Sprint's wireless service is good only in Baltimore. Well, I don't know about the system you are talking about, but I am using a Sprint system right now that is basically a wireless modem stuck in a USB port. I don't know what it is called but it works really well and is very fast. One of the nice things about it is that I can be on the internet while I am driving (well, actually being a passenger) down the highway just about anywhere in the US. I actually haven't found a spot yet that it doesn't work. I bought the modem at Best Buy and pay a fairly modest monthly fee for the service. (I don't remember how much it is, but I know it is comparable to ATTs DSL.)

Just FYI.

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