A broadband commons and economic prosperity

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Much internet traffic in recent weeks has been devoted to efforts by US lawmakers to give the executive the power to “shut down the internet”, but other news shows that not all the ideas from the regulators over there are bad ones:

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, “With today’s approval of the first TV white spaces database and device, we are taking an important step towards enabling a new wave of wireless innovation. Unleashing white spaces spectrum has the potential to exceed even the many billions of dollars in economic benefit from Wi-Fi, the last significant release of unlicensed spectrum, and drive private investment and job creation.”
Unused spectrum between TV stations – known as “white spaces” – represents a valuable opportunity for provision of broadband data services in our changing wireless landscape. This unused TV spectrum provides a major new platform for innovation and delivery of service, with potential for both research and commercial
applications. Development of unlicensed radio transmitting devices has already led to a wave of new consumer technologies, including Wi-Fi and other innovations like digital cordless phones and in-home video distribution systems that have generated billions of dollars of economic growth. This new technology will build on that track record and provide even more benefits to the U.S. economy.