Don’t forget about spectrum, Dave.

Dave tells Doc Searls to “forget about spectrum” saying that its “such a 20th Centurey concept, that in the age of podcasting, spectrum is infinite and costs $35 a year from Network Solutions.”

Dave seems to be forgetting that transit for those podcasts, especially the last mile, isn’t necessarily a sure thing. Companies are jockying for control of the internet infrastructure, and they aren’t all believers in transparent networks. Some of them want to set rates depending on the value of the payload, rather than just its size, just as the railroads set different rates for iron ore vs finished goods.

The mobile phone companies already do it. The rates they charge for SMS is much higher per bit than they charge for voice, and they are already working to control the endpoints by making it difficult to access any content or applications that they don’t get a kickback on.

More open spectrum makes it practical for people to continue to route around such damaged pieces of the Internet infrastructure and can only help insure vital grassroots movements like Podcasting.

Allocating more open spectrum, and encouraging technologies and policies that treat spectrum use as something other than a zero-sum game should be paid attention to, and can only help us get away from bottlenecks on expression.

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