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CA EVENT: Pervasive Connectivity

Open Airwaves, Open Networks

As Internet access moves increasingly to mobile platforms, control over access to the public airwaves will determine whether wireless broadband networks are closed, costly and channelized - or open, affordable and innovative. The conventional wisdom in Washington is that spectrum is scarce and must be auctioned as exclusive licenses. The reality is emerging technologies and business models that allow shared, opportunistic and unlicensed access to an abundance of bandwidth for all.

This forum reviewed the technologies and policy debates at the center of this battle over the airwaves. The FCC will decide this fall whether to open the vacant TV channels in each market for shared, unlicensed use. But there is far more unused "white space" across the spectrum that can be unlocked with 'smart' radios and smarter policies. Among the benefits of open spectrum is more open networks - as well as facilitating a movement toward community networking that can greatly narrow digital divides in rural and disadvantaged areas.

This policy forum is co-sponsored by Google and the New America Foundation/Wireless Future Program.


Google - Building 43
1600 Amphitheater Parkway
Mountain View, CA, 94043
See map: Google Maps


9:30 am - Registration

10:00 am - Welcome

10:15 am - Open Airwaves: Technologies & Policies for Opportunistic Spectrum Sharing
  • Michael Calabrese (PowerPoint Presentation, PDF, 32 pps.)
    Director, Wireless Future Program, New America Foundation
  • Paul Kolodzy
    Kolodzy Consulting, Former Chair, FCC Spectrum Policy Task Force
  • Mark McHenry (PowerPoint Presentation, PDF, 13 pps.)
    CEO and Founder, Shared Spectrum Co.
11:00 am - Open Networks: Technologies & Policies for Consumer Choice and Innovation
  • Tim Wu
    Professor, Columbia Law School & Chairman, Free Press
  • Larry Alder
  • Sascha Meinrath (PowerPoint Presentation, PDF, 18 pps.) and (PowerPoint Presentation, PDF, 13 pps.)
    Research Director, Wireless Future Program, New America Foundation
11:45 am - Community Networking: Digital Inclusion, Unwired
  • Rey Ramsey
    CEO & Co-Founder, One Economy Corp
  • Mark Ansboury
    SVP & Chief Technology Officer, OneCommunity
12:30 pm - Closing Remarks: Implications for 2009 Policy Agenda

12:45 pm - Lunch & Tech Demo in No Name Café

Event Time and Location

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 - 11:00am - 2:30pm

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