Jameco Re-Purposes ‘Cognitive Radio’ Article

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It was fun working with editor Frances Reed to address her diverse newsletter audience. My Story: Cognitive Radio

A comparison to the original (Cognitive Radio is Here) shows her having set a broader context, while simultaneously pulling out from me the three figures for more detail.

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Since that story there has been a further important, related development for Software-Defined Radio (SDR), which I discuss here:

Bid, Baby, Bid! Software-Defined Radio Poised To Gush!

BART, Cell Phones, and the FCC: On the ‘EDGE’ Of Civil Cyberwarfare

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Revised: 20130321

The FCC has made a point of issuing inordinately stiff fines to small businesses such as restaurants that merely wish to have a phone-free atmosphere, on the rationale that even the most limited jammers might interfere with an emergency call. So the dispositive question now is simple: how large a fine will FCC impose on BART for its unprecedented August 11th widespread, intentional, malicious disruption of cell phone service, and the attendant liabilities regarding public safety?

And if there is no appropriate fine, then we must understand that civil cyberwarfare is now underway. Other municipalities will take up the strategy with impunity, emboldened to cut communications or generate false ones whenever they like. The same Farcebook and Flitter broadband—recently reported as utterly vulnerable to invasion by so-called ‘unnamed’ nations—which FCC Chairman Genachowski steadfastly and idiotically advocates as the basis of our emergency communications will have in one stroke been revealed to equally serve civil manipulation and misinformation as well.

I would like nothing more than to be proven wrong; FCC says it is investigating, and it should only take one word from the White House to remind this Chairman of his obligations to the public’s long-term interest.

Nevertheless, the wireless industry’s grip on FCC is vise-like, resulting in systematic mismanagement of broadband regulation, emergency communications, low-power community services, and through budget cuts most of the rest of its traditional responsibilities under the Communications Act of 1934. This bedrock was conspiratorially weakened by lobbyists via the Telecom Act of 1996—upon which Hundt, Kennard, and their common Counsel Genachowski built their careers by re-focusing the FCC on wireless service spectrum auctions of at least questionable legality. And that, being the very same unprecedented Federal law which pre-empts towns from resisting cell towers as well! [see Levitt, 2001 Cell Towers]

Thus, after two decades of the industry writing its own rules and placing its own Chairmen, expectations for FCC impartiality concerning wireless service regulation cannot be deservedly lower. And the only rational response to highly predictable Federal inaction against this outrage may well be increased civil disobedience with a new emphasis on independent radio operation, that is, Radical Radio.

The Amateur Radio Service (ARS) legendarily supplements if not replaces wireless and wired communication systems under emergency conditions, typically for weather or geographic disasters—responding to “acts of God.” But, unless the FCC and BART swiftly do something unusually intelligent and patriotic, August 11th, 2011 may be marked as the day when it became necessary for the ARS to prepare to serve as guarantors of free speech during civil emergencies—responding to rogue “acts of Government,” as well.

Concerning Genachowski’s biased and limited understanding of emergency communications as reflected in his embarrassing posted statements about Japan, it is revealing that he nowhere mentions that in addition to relying on a reported 1.3 million ARS stations, the Japanese government found it necessary to issue thousands of temporary ARS licenses to further mitigate landline, broadband and wireless infrastructure collapse.

In contrast, while peddling assurances about a secure inter-agency standard P25 and “a hardened broadband,”—neither of which it can possibly deliver—the FCC has allowed the daily-proven U.S. ARS population to trend downward below 700,000. And a police veteran informs me that in California, agencies are scrambling to combine VHF licenses merely to acquire surplus cab radios!

So can we please stop all this acquiescence in mediocre EmComm, denial of persisting inter-agency breakdowns and tolerance of corruption, and demand that FCC remediate its own ‘lost decade’ of deteriorating performance keeping this country in the forefront of safe and secure communications for all? And if it cannot, barrister Genachowski needs to resign immediately in favor of a Sarnoff-quality technical visionary equal to today’s issues and challenges. That Chairman will expeditiously implement desperately needed communications policy corrections; from embracing for EmComm new research in software-defined and cognitive radio, to taking ARS lessons from Japan, and most importantly, understanding the implications of democratic warnings from San Francisco.

Stanley Jungleib
WA6LVC (ARS over 40 years)

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