Taking Apart the 700-MHz Wireless Spectrum Auction

A U.S. spectrum auction opens up the coveted 700-MHz band to cellphones

5 min read

24 January 2008--Analyzing a U.S. wireless spectrum auction sounds about as exciting as watching a chess match. But as Bobby Fischer's recent passing reminds us, once in a while chess matches are pretty exciting.

Observers have called 700 megahertz the last great band of spectrum to come up for auction in this age of ubiquitous wireless devices. By virtue of having a lower frequency than today's third-generation services--which all operate at 1700 MHz and above--its signals can travel farther and better push their way through apartment and office walls.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
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Carl De Torres
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When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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