[Cerowrt-devel] spacebee

dpreed at deepplum.com dpreed at deepplum.com
Mon Mar 12 12:25:59 EDT 2018

This is fascinating. Could it be that the idea of "open networks of satellites" are going to start to play the role of WiFi or UWB? Scalable sharing of orbital space, using a simple cooperative protocol? In other words, the first step toward what Vint Cerf championed as the "Interplanetary Internet?
If so, that explains why the FCC id doing the bidding of its masters. Sure, we need a few rules of the road to manage space orbits, etc. That's in *everyone's* public interest.
But do we need the rules to be set by a fully captured regulatory mechanism in the pockets of monopoly capital?
I wrote this comment to another mailing list. Thought you might find it interesing here as well. (This reflects very deep personal experience with building scalable decentralized systems for most of my life, plus encounters with the FCC around getting UWB authorized - it was defenestrated in the form that they authorized it - and my experiences with the "be very afraid" camp that informs the FCC's idea that SDR is not to be allowed, ever, in products certified for sale in the US to consumers). It's remarkable how the idea that "we need rules of the road" gets perverted into "the US and its corporate owners must have power over", esp. in the FCC.
One should ask, why hasn't NASA stepped in to facilitate discussion of orbital rules of the road? Preferably the minimum necessary rules, allowing the most flexibility to innovate and create value.
And one should also ask, one whose behalf is FCC making these choices?
Space, in theory, belongs to all of us. Not governments defined by national boundaries, not the UN, ... it *belongs* to us, just as the Sea does.
It's helpful to have rules (for example, the WiFi rules which extend Part 15's "accept all interference and don't deliberately interfere" to a concrete - listen for energy before you transmit, and transmit using a power and modulation that has the least impact on others. Bran Ferren called this the "Golden Rule". The law of the sea is similar.
One can ask whether the FCC has any legitimate constitutional mandate over space at all. Maybe that should be taken to the (sadly plutocratic) Supreme Court, or even better, a true judicial court that incorporates the interests and fairness to all of the planet?
We should remember that if Swarm launched and operated its network of satellites from the middle of the ocean (remember Pirate Radio Stations in the UK beyond the coastal zone), the US FCC could not touch them. Arguably, there's no one who could legally touch them.
That said, we need rules of the road, like we do for drones. But they should not be written by those who stand to lose their privileges.
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