(1) to divide and distribute in shares, to apportion;
(2) to use, experience or occupy with others, to have in common.
For example, the first is sharing a bag of peanuts, and the second is sharing a kitchen or an MP3 file. Cellular operators and economists tend to use the word with the first meaning, and Open Spectrum advocates with the second.
But that raises the question: is the double meaning inherent in the concept, or is it just an accident of English vocabulary?
I asked some friends about the regulatory terminology in other languages; so far I have information about Arabic, Chinese and German. If you could shed light on regulatory terminology in other languages, for example French, Japanese or Spanish, please get in touch.