Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

San Francisco, CA - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today supported a spectrum policy proposal from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and asked the FCC to acknowledge its First Amendment obligation to allocate additional spectrum for unlicensed use. Unlicensed use of spectrum would permit the expansion of wireless communication, including Wi-Fi-style technology.

EFF asked the FCC to adopt the policy proposed in Notice of Inquiry 02-328, "Additional Spectrum for Unlicensed Devices Below 900 MHz and in the 3 GHz Band." In this notice, the FCC seeks comment on the allocation of additional spectrum for unlicensed use, similar to the allocation that makes Wi-Fi devices possible. The Commission proposes to carve spectrum for unlicensed use out of unused TV station frequencies, which would dramatically increase the "open" spectrum available for technological innovation.

"Spectrum regulation is a form of speech regulation," said EFF Outreach Coordinator Cory Doctorow. "We support the Commission's proposal to make more spectrum available for unlicensed applications like Wi-Fi, moving us closer to a world where we all may speak over the airwaves."

The FCC traditionally justifies regulating spectrum use on grounds of scarcity, arguing that if anyone were allowed to broadcast, the resulting chaos would create so much interference that no one would be heard. The success of Wi-Fi and other uses of the unlicensed 2.4GHz band demonstrates that unlicensed use models allow far more speakers than the FCC's old "command-and-control" model of spectrum allocation.


For this release:

EFF comment on proposed FCC unlicensed spectrum regulation:

FCC notice of inquiry on unlicensed spectrum:


Cory Doctorow
  Outreach Coordinator
  Electronic Frontier Foundation
  +1 415 436-9333 x106 (office)