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Open spectrum

Open spectrum is a movement to get the government to provide more unlicensed spectrum, radio frequency spectrum that is available for use by all. Proponents of the "commons model" of open spectrum advocate a future where all the spectrum is shared, using Internet protocols to communicate with each other, and smart devices to find the most effective energy level, frequency, and mechanism. Previous government-imposed limits on who can have stations and who can't will be removed, and everyone will be given equal opportunity to use the airwaves for their own radio station, television station, or even broadcast of their website.

National governments currently allocate bands of spectrum (sometimes based on guidelines from the ITU) for use by anyone so long as they respect certain technical limits, most notably, a limit on total transmission power. Unlicensed spectrum is decentralized: there is no license payments or central control for users.

Traditional users of unlicensed spectrum include cordless telephones, and baby monitors. A collection of new technologies are taking advantage of unlicensed spectrum including Wi-Fi, Ultra Wideband, spread spectrum, software defined radio, cognitive radio, and mesh networks.

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