May marks the dawn of a new blog created by Interference Technology with emphasis on Electromagnetic Compatibility. I am honored to have been asked to serve as the blogger in this newest venture to reach out to members of the community. I have written many articles over the years and have always strived to make them purely technical, easily readable, and non commercial. This venture is really different and I am excited about giving it a whirl . . . here, I get to express my personal opinions, make various comments, and discuss my experiences. I’ve been in the RFI, EMI, EMC, E-Cubed, E3 field full-time since 1967 so I have had lots of experiences. Some of which are only known by 007 and other special 3 letter agencies.
I’m also opinionated just like the rest of the members of the EMC community and I’m not afraid to make comments. That said, I am soliciting your help. It will be a lot more fun to make comments about things that you (the reader) are interested in. We can always discuss grounding, bonding, shielding, filtering, testing, PCB layout, signal integrity, and/or anything else of interest. Just make a comment or ask! I may not know the answer, but someone out there does.
Although it just passed and won’t be back until next year, April 22 was a very important day. It was Earth Day! A celebration of the environment. This celebration has been going on since 1970 and emphasizes concern over soil, air, and water pollution. After all, these are limited resources and when we run out – we run out! Then what do we do? Mark Twain was very perceptive when he said, “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” I for one would like to have all these things remain available. I’ve become quite used to breathing and would like to keep on doing that.
The same thing holds with the RF spectrum. Apparently the billions that celebrate Earth Day don’t realize that there is a least one other environmental resource that needs protecting — that is the RF spectrum. Although we won’t all die if we run out of spectrum, they aren’t making anymore of that either. Protecting spectrum is one of the things we do as EMC engineers. It was not nearly as big an issue with wired systems, but now with the perceived need for everyone to be tethered to their RF linked electronic widget, for convenience and mobility, we are consuming spectrum at a ridiculous rate and generating EMC problems right along with it.
At a recent department of defense review, I learned that the government wants to sell a spectrum segment being used by the DOD and the equipment redesign/replacement cost to move the DOD to a new RF spectrum location will greatly exceed the sales price of the spectrum. Does that make good business sense? Should the government be taking the spectrum from the haves and selling it to the have-nots? How can the government own it in the first place? It’s a lot like saying that I own the color blue. And if the government can justify ownership why are they selling it? Why aren’t they leasing it instead?
Real estate points the way to efficient sopectrum allocation: transferable property rights. A spectrum market would allow new players in the wireless market to displace old users. And those old users, e.g. TV broadcasters, would walk away happily because the new users could compensate them directly for their spectrum.
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