Crowded spectrum

This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The editorial "Spectrum wars: Don't be too quick to allot spectrum" (Our View, April 26) proposes bad policy because it relies on bad information.

The National Broadband Plan, produced by the Federal Communications Commission in 2009, predicted that the United States will face a "spectrum crunch" by 2013 unless significant swathes of radio frequencies are reassigned to commercial and other public uses. These frequencies are currently assigned to government systems that are largely outmoded.

The FCC reached this conclusion after consulting with relevant experts and opinion leaders on the issue, including the sources the editorial cites, and after examining emerging technologies. No new technologies have been developed since the recommendation was made that cast it in doubt.

It's not responsible to represent a recommendation made by a respected government agency as a mere lobbying ploy of greedy commercial interests. The consensus of responsible and well-informed engineers is a better beacon for spectrum policy than the wild claims of those who can't distinguish science fiction from science fact.

Richard Bennett Senior research fellow, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Washington, D.C.