regulatory reference paper


An international treaty document, the Reference Paper that is part of the Fourth Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services, states that spectrum is a scarce resource. It is scarce only because (a) exclusive use of most frequencies is the norm (WiFi is an exception), and (b) the bands for which cheap equipment is manufactured are few. So the scarcity is not “natural,” it is human-created. Therefore Professor Read, as quoted in the NYT, is correct: Arguing that the nation could run out of spectrum is like saying it was going to run out of a color, says David P. Reed, one of the original architects of the Internet and a former professor of computer science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.