There's a shortage of wireless spectrum in this country and nobody was talking about it until recently. The Brookings Institution went so far as to call it "the coming spectrum crisis" in the promotional materials for an event held in Washington, D.C., earlier today where five panelists gathered to discuss how to best allocate new spectrum that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has called for.
The FCC, under the leadership of chairman Julius Genachowski, recently passed an order to make under-utilized television spectrum available for other wireless transmission purposes. In its initial plan, the FCC asked for 300 MHz of spectrum to be freed up over the next five years, with an additional 200 MHz coming in the five years after that. The spectrum will be auctioned off in an as-yet-to-be-determined fashion and -- so the plan goes -- be used primarily for new connected devices.
"People are used to having information where they want it, when they want it," said Adele Morris, a fellow and policy director for Climate and Energy Economics at the Brookings Institution. "There are tremendous demands being placed on the network." And the network, as it stands, cannot currently handle those demands. People may have to start getting used to not having information where they want it, when they want it.