Reed Hundt, Les Vadasz, Yochai Benkler, Larry Lessig on Spectrum

Everytime I find myself in the Bay Area I find myself wondering why anyone ever leaves. Wow.  So pleasant.

If you’re unlucky enough to be anywhere less pleasant, you can follow along with iLaw-Stanford, the 5th iteration of our intensive, week-long Internet Law course thanks to Donna‘s ongoing blogging.

The highlight of what I’ve seen here today was Hundt, Vadasz, Benkler and Lessig talking about the future of broadband connections.  […]

For Les Vadasz, it sounds like that dream state is an interoperable world of wireless broadband where a market is constructed to enable innovation and change.

For Prof. Lessig‘s part, he’s wondering why we’re letting the dinosaurs get their way at the expense of the innovators — like Vadasz’s Intel.  He sees that Intel’s approach is geared toward making an unlicensed spectrum for wireless broadband possible by minimizing the costs of such an allocation.

Prof. Benkler, brilliant as ever (as are all these guys, to be sure), cited three possible new scenarios: 1) Will the UNII band be expanded, where we have 802.11a, e.g.?  You’d have an act of Congress that says that you can use this spectrum for unlicensed so long as DoD signs off; then a deal with DoD and large players, plus a set of restrictions on what you could do with it that might or might not fit with everyone’s business models. 2) Software-defined radios will be allowed to use parts of the spectrum allocated to TV to communicate data via gps receiver, e.g.  You can use some of these TV bands on an opportunistic basis.  3) Verizon in NY has a competitive strategy with DSL.  You will get access to the wireless access points at the tens of thousands of phone booths in NY bundled with that DSL service.  This way, Verizon takes on Intel’s Centrino and its kin.  Can any of these three work?  Is wireless a work-around, or is it going to crash, as Larry suggests it might?

Good stuff.  See the official blog entry for more.

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