Yesterday, Senators John Kerry and Olympia Snowe introduced legislation on managing the radio spectrum (see also stories in National Journal’s Tech Daily Dose and the Washington Post’s Post Tech). Spectrum allocation is a hot topic — as wireless use grows and the airwaves become crowded. Recently, President Obama announced his Wireless Initiative to expand access to wireless broadband.
While billed as a comprehensive approach to spectrum management, the Kerry/Snowe bill contains one element that I find especially important. As the press release notes:
Specifically, the bill tasks the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to conduct a comprehensive inventory of radio spectrum and perform spectrum surveys to determine existing spectrum use.
In other words, the legislation requires an inventory of a very important public intangible asset: access to the spectrum.
It is time that government take the next step of inventorying all their intangible assets.