Doubling the Spectrum....for High Speed Rail and the Smart Grid?
The Wall Street Journal reports that President Obama ordered the near doubling of the communications spectrum today, "to free up 500 megahertz of airwaves as part of a broader strategy for improving the U.S.'s broadband infrastructure". Ultimately, segments of these freed-up "airwaves" (not unlike over-the-air radio station channels) will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
"The United States is undertaking a massive communications and information technology buildout to produce the Smart Grid, which the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines as the 'two-way flow of electricity and information to create an automated, widely distributed energy delivery network.'The vision is to build a modern grid that enables energy efficiency and the widespread use of both renewable power and plug-in electric vehicles, reducing the country's dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil. This grid will intelligently detect problems and automatically route power around localized outages, making the energy system more resilient to natural disasters and terrorist attacks. It will keep bills low and minimize greenhouse gas emissions."
"This proposed Broadband Strategy Council (BSC) could include senior officials from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Economic Council and the Office of Management and Budget. The BSC's membership could also include high-level personnel drawn from the FCC, NTIA and other agencies with key roles in implementing plan recommendations".