What's the Latest Development?

The Federal Communication Commission is working to release a new model that will manage America's airwaves. The F.C.C.'s chairman says the country is facing a 'spectrum crisis' where the number of airwaves available for mobile devices is increasingly limited. "The new model will allow someone who, for example, wants to use a wireless microphone for a musical in Reno, Nevada, to register where he needs to use those airwaves. New Super Wi-Fi devices can access that database and make sure not to send out interfering signals."

What's the Big Idea?

The F.C.C. calls its new model 'Super Wi-Fi'. It represents a substantial improvement over how America's airwaves are currently managed. "Right now large parts of the spectrum go to waste because the license holder who controls them has no incentive to let other people use them, even when it doesn't need them. 'The old system was that [a company] got a chunk of spectrum and used it for its network,' says Jeff Schmidt, the director of engineering at Spectrum Bridge, which is overseeing the first white-space database."