(Geen tijd om te vertalen, reacties gewoon in het Nederlands...)
At DLD today there was an interesting discussion, moderated by Hans-Peter Siebenhaar, between several telecom heavyweights amongst whom European Commissioner Viviane Reding and Rene Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom. These two were arguing about competition being the primary means for getting to a situation where we have abundant and cheap wireless broadband all over Europe. Obermann's point was that he has to invest a double-digit billion euros to build the required infrastructure, but that he can not do that as long as the European Commission wants him to let other service providers compete over that very same network with a government mandated pricing structure. I fully understand that point. What he wants however, a license and a monopoly on the use of that license, is very wrong as well in my opinion. But as long as governments (and the EC) insist on auctioning off artificially scarce spectrum, Obermann's points remain valid, unfortunately.
But why do we auction off spectrum in the first place? It would seem to me that it would be far better to declare all available spectrum free to be used by anyone. That would be the perfect breeding ground for successes similar to Wi-Fi, but then on a much larger scale. No auctioning was required there... And nobody HAS to build a double-digit billion dollar infrastrucure. It will probably become a distributed effort by many, based on standards, software defined radio , wireless mesh networking, etc.
So the EC, governments and Deutsche Telekom are all thinking in their own (short term) interest, not our long term interest. As long as that does not change, these discussion won't end. There will be no cheap abundant wireless broadband when we do not change spectrum policies radically to begin with.