Has “Unlicensed” in Part 15 Worked? A Case Study

INFO, Special Issue August 2009, INFO Volume 11, Issue 5.  Tim Pozar, TM Pozar Telecommunications Engineering, Mill Valley, California.

The Federal Communications Commission established the provisions for unlicensed operations of intentional radiators or transmitters for commutations in what was called the industrial scientific and medical bands. This was a significant change in mindset for the FCC and this case study is meant to show an example of how unlicensed devices have contributed to the community “good”.  The internet became a major economic entity and an essential tool for commerce in the mid to late 1990s. With that, the digital divide was identified as a significant issue by 1996[1]. Typically the digital divide has been the result of cost of the equipment to use the internet, such as computers, as well as the cost or lack of access in connecting to the Internet. Many efforts by local community groups and governments have been made to attack the issue but one problem that they all encountered was addressing the “last mile” to connect the disenfranchised.

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