The Myth of Interference
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Mar 13 2003 Kelly Norton
The myth of interference is an article over in Salon's technology section that presents David Reed's argument that RF spectrum is unnecessarily regulated by the FCC and that our current system of granting exclusive use of a “color” is literally based on a bit of irrational fear that followed the Titanic disaster. The author calls it “bad science”, but I think I would instead hold this up as a cautionary tale against impulse policy that tends to assume that the world is a static place. The true interference is that policy is what locks us into an outdated RF model, prevents any forward progress, and makes spectrum an unnecessarily scarce resource. And if the suggested change would mean that I can actually continue to listen to Radiohead on my portable mp3 player while my plane takes off, then I can finally put to rest my usual spiel about not wanting to fly on a plane that can't tolerate the virtually undetectable sidebands radiating from portable electronic devices. Those who fly with me would appreciate that.
David Reed also has an Open Spectrum Resource Page that has more detailed writings on the topic. It puzzles me why the author of the Salon article would not link that page, but that's an optimization problem and not one of interference.