Techdirt reports that the Federal Communications Commission may start to allow unlicensed uses in so- called "white space spectrum." WSS is the buffer zone that used to be necessary around broadcast analog spectrum to make sure there was no interference. Finally, the FCC is starting to recognize that technology has made (and will continue to make) interference less of a problem. Therefore, locking up all the best spectrum so that your analog TV channels will work is not the best use of a valuable public resource.
This is a dangerous road for the FCC so you can understand their reluctance. In fact it might just put them out of business. If interference disappears they lose their constitutional justification for selling spectrum at all. In Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367 (1969) the Supreme Court found that it did not violate the First Amendment for the FCC to choose speech winners and losers when they sold exclusive rights to use spectrum at auctions because having some people able to speak was better than allowing everyone to speak at the same time and noone be heard because of the interference. (upholding a FCC rule that required broadcasters to provide a right of reply under certain circumstances.) As technology drops the interference factor to zero, the FCC's spectrum auctions continue to lose their First Amendment bona fides.
We had a conference on this issue 4 years ago. It is nice to finally see some concrete movement from the FCC. Read more about FCC May Allow Unlicensed use of 'White Space' Spectrum