The reason spectrum is treated as though it were finite is because it is still divided by frequencies — an outdated understanding of how radio technology works, he said. “I hate to even use the word ‘spectrum,’ ” he said. “It’s a 1920s understanding of how radio communications work.
Why, then, wouldn’t carriers want to use these newer technologies that cause frequencies to not interfere? Because licensing spectrum is a zero-sum game. When a company gets the license for a band of radio waves, it has the exclusive rights to use it. Once a company owns it, competitors can’t have it.
Mr. Reed said the carriers haven’t advocated for the newer technologies because they want to retain their monopolies.