A campaign against the selling off of TV spectrum by the national regulator is offering free Wi-Fi, backhauled over newly-released TV spectrum, in the hope that those using it will sign a petition for greater availability. The free wireless is available at the South by Southwest Festival which kicked off in Austin, Texas, on …
" taking it back is hard"
It's pretty near impossible when it's something the public buys.
"But White Space allows regulators to hand over some spectrum for a bit and then take it back - within hours if opinion changes. Those lobbying against it are more concerned that the people will refuse to give it up rather than concerning themselves with any technical problem."
Indeed it *WILL* cause problems and the new gadget users will neither keep the rules nor give it back.
This is a disaster in the making.
Taking spectrum back...
...public resources should only ever have been sold off on a use it or lose it contract, with purchasers being obliged to resell spectrum unused after X years. If they can't sell it within Y years of that then it returns to the regulator automatically. Another option could have been a rental model - ongoing payments would certainly have focused profit making companies onto only paying for what they needed and sorted out unwanted spectrum returning to the regulator.
Still, 20/20 hindsight and all that.
The other kind of taking back
What happens when you buy one of these devices and then the whitespace becomes used up? Maps for urban areas show TV frequency usage is nearly complete. Is the device returnable, bricked and useless, or do people hack it to trample licensed frequencies?
I use a rooftop antenna for TV and I'll probably have to buy Internet from a point-to-point wireless service. Comcast and AT&T won't deliver decent service by wires but the regional geography works well for wireless. I worry about what happens when these devices get hacked to use spectrum that isn't available.