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Radio Spectrum Pollution: Facing the Challenge of a Threatened Resource

Intensive use of radio frequencies by wireless systems is crucial to our economic and social well-being and to national defense and homeland security. Successful operation is essential for a wide variety of wireless applications ranging from simple keyless entry systems and garage door openers, to broadcasting networks, to Wi-Fi and cellular networks, to complex navigation systems like GPS and radar, to mobile radio systems relied upon by first responders. By analogy to other important economic inputs like coal, water and know-how, one can think of radio frequencies, also known as spectrum, as a resource. The purpose of this conference is to bring together academics, policymakers, spectrum users and advocates to examine the extent of, and trends in, radio noise pollution and to suggest how the associated policies and regulations might need to be adjusted to reflect changes in radio noise levels. A unique feature of the conference will be an interdisciplinary panel directed at comparing and contrasting approaches used to control other forms of pollution (e.g., water and air) with those used in protecting the radio spectrum environment. The formal portion of the conference will be preceded by a tutorial (12:00 pm - 12:45 pm) on spectrum pollution to better enable interested participants and attendees from other disciplines to more fully participate in the subsequent discussions.

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