Almost every policy or technology story about radios starts with the litany that Spectrum is a Scarce Natural Resource. I will argue that this claim is false, and that it matters.
- Spectrum is no more a scarce natural resource than sound.
- It is more accurate and productive to talk about radio operation.
- Rather than saying “spectrum is scarce”, it’s better to say “radio coexistence is hard.”
The pay-off is that this alternative language makes us focus on what matters – the best way to arrange the operation of radios – rather than on ways to manage a resource (spectrum) that may or may exist.