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Monday, June 05, 2006

There is something in the air

It was inevitable the EU would want control over the air waves one day and today they have started the effort in earnest. Theoretically there is nothing wrong with the EU controlling the spectrum and in fact it does offer some advantages over the current requirement for 25 different types of licenses for a cross-border service. However, I seriously doubt when all the compromising is finished that any sensible legislation will be left. I also can predict now with near certainly that the EU will, by fair means or foul, get some taxes out of this: no doubt to fund some seriously important EU projects and line the pockets of large euro-conglomerates expert in the art of lobbying.

On a more micro level, something has come along which has the potential to be seriously disruptive to the radio hardware manufacturers’ clique: open source software defined radio on a $550 board. This month’s Wired has the full low-down.

I’m taking bets on how long it will be before we have seriously cheap transmitters operating seemingly randomly (and illegally) across wide swathes of the spectrum: a sort of p2p for the access crew. Claude Shannon would be proud. Mind you, the EU may be biting off more than it chew regulating the spectrum when chaos is about to reign down.

The more adventurous types can find more details of the project can be found on Eric Blossom's website