Spectrum policy needs to be guided by the realities of network engineering rather than the desires of network incumbents to protect legacy business models from competition from wireless upstarts. Spectrum policy need not be a team sport.
Transferring spectrum from old to new users have proven to be much speedier and easier than imagined by PCAST and similar plans of 10 – 15 years ago. Getting governments and government agencies to cooperate is the harder problem.
The only way through our 1,200 year drought is get better at managing and using water than we have been. While RF spectrum isn’t in a similar crisis yet, it’s wise to prepare for an eventuality where demand far outstrips supply. Spectrum, like water, is a finite resource at each point in time even if both are reusable.
The priority for Congress in the Wednesday hearing to to draw a bright line between network projects in legitimate need of federal support for construction, technical capacity development, and backhaul and those, like Loveland, that are simply vanity projects.
When we begin with the requirements we quickly find that there are many ways to satisfy them. At this point it’s more prudent to continue to rely on innovation to meet needs rather than declare one and only one technology the permanent victor.