This is an excellent example of free enterprise and sensible individuals coming up with a reasobnable low cost solution but unfortunately this would never work in the U.S..
Simply because the big greedy telecom carriers with the help of the FCC, FTC and other U.S. government agencies would find a way to outlaw it and in the end some telecom company would buy up the technology and any infrastructure already in place and mothball it away never to be used.
This is a fantastic example of how open source can really shine. These people are going to have (hopefully) a steady flow of development and updates thanks to the passionate individuals who are building this software. This is simply fantastic!
Yes, Eric Brewer is doing great job as a researcher and facilitator, as well as many others. Now we see one of the first real results of those efforts, though they are achieved by Rhizomatica team without any relationship to Eric's work. That's why we say, this concession heralds a tectonic shift in spectrum regulation - with many people pushing, we hope to see more of similar things in seemingly unrelated places.
There are many benefits to using open source software in a business-smart way, but this example of linking folks into the rest of the world at very low cost is to me a really nice example of how open source can enable what's truly possible with modern technology, rather than just a narrow set of options that have been limited by regulatory and business models that never anticipated zero-incremental-cost replication of extremely complex and powerfu machinery -- the latter being another way to think about open source software, software being essentially design in an unusually pure form.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.