With regard to white spaces, there are known knowns, unknown knowns and unknown unknowns.
Let's take the last category first in the name of expeditiousness. If we don“t even know there's something to know, how can we possibly know what it is?
There may be some form of open spectrum beyond the three dimensions of which we“re aware, but until the giant West Coast software outfits figure out how to turn it into money; we've got to stick with what“s on the federal government“s RF chart.
We've included an impossibly tiny version of the chart below in order to illustrate that U.S. radio spectrum is packed like Kimora Lee's closet. For those unaware of Ms. Lee's identity, she is an extremely wealthy individual who favors teal and magenta.
There are several things we can learn from the RF chart. Ms. Lee has very little closet space remaining. Further keen observation informs us that there are big blocks of teal on the chart. These blocks of teal are significant for several reasons.
First of all, they nicely set off the magenta. Second, they represent where broadcast signals are in the great ether of radio spectrum. The really big block on the second shelf down is AM radio. The blocks in fourth and fifth shelves down are TV channels, which have lived happily there for many, many years.
That was before the closet got so crowded, however. Now it's like a nightmare in there. It's almost impossible to squeeze in a hanky and a sock. It's simply time to make more space. AM Radio uses quite a bit, but it takes a ladder to get to that shelf. TV“s much easer to get to, and, there“s some buffer space in there to keep the fur naps neat.
WHAT WE KNOW
Well now, whaddya know. Fur's totally uncool. No one wears fur anymore. Puh-lease. They wear cell phones, PDAs, Blueteeth, Blackberrys, iPods and other devices transmitting their whereabouts to various deep covert agencies collecting data for Brian Roberts.
For those unaware of Mr. Roberts' identity, he is an extremely wealthy individual who favors world dominance through commerce.
As a matter of fact, certain people would argue, since Mr. Roberts has convinced more people than anyone else in the world to buy TV signals from him, why have TV signals in the spectrum where the aforementioned tracking devices should be? This is a very, very powerful argument because it is being made by Microsoft, Google, Dell and other companies with enough money to pay off the national debt, aka something like $10 trillion.
It is also very powerful because Microsoft chief Bill Gates and Mr. Roberts are twins separated at birth. They function with a level of what“s known in media as “synergy.”
E.g., Mr. Gates convinces the government to loose tracking devices into the TV spectrum.
Those devices mess up TV signals.
More people buy TV from Mr. Roberts!
That's what we know. What we don“t know, is when it's going to happen.
(McAdams welcomes feedback at email@example.com)