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ITU ANNOUNCES IMMEDIATE AUCTION
ITU ANNOUNCES IMMEDIATE AUCTION OF ENTIRE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM
Geneva (April 1). The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) today
announced that it was selling the entire set of frequencies of the
electromagnetic spectrum in order to provide a permanent endowment for the
United Nations family of organizations for the indefinite future.
"We've learned a lot from our American colleagues at the FCC, said a
spokesperson for the ITU. Their spectrum allocation auctions have convinced us
that the capitalist model is superior to our established ways of allocating
spectrum. We realized that we could improve on their model by extending the
auction to include all frequencies, not just those for narrow communication
As might be expected, initial bidding activity has been fiercest in the visible
frequency range. An anonymous source has reported that IBM has been bidding in
excess of U.S. $50 million for the rights to exclusive use of Pantone 3462,
otherwise known as IBM Blue. Cosmetics manufacturers are fighting fiercely for
rights to use approximately 218 different very narrow frequency ranges in the
reds, ensuring uniqueness for their extensive collection of lipsticks and other
In a bold move to preserve financial stability, the U. S. Government immediately
appropriated the U.S. dollar green part of the spectrum to protect the integrity
of its money supply. Shortly thereafter, House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich
introduced a bill that prohibited turning (that shade of) green with envy by
illegal aliens. At a campaign rally in Orange (tm), Connecticut, Presidential
candidate Pat Buchanan quickly endorsed the measure but added that it did not go
far enough. "We'll put full frequency filters all along the wall at the Mexican
border, he said, to make sure that those foreigners don't steal all-American
frequency rights!" he said. The Justice Department has promised full cooperation
in the event that the bill became law.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a leading contender for the Russian Presidency, said,
"Red is our heritage, our birthright! You can auction all the other frequencies
in the spectrum, but after I win the next election I shall take this matter up
immediately and most forcefully with your Governing Body!"
The Ku Klux Klan registered extreme dismay when the purity of the whiteness of
their costumes began to degrade as slivers of the frequencies comprising white
were auctioned off and withdrawn from the market. Faced with the realization
that as more and more frequencies are withdrawn from public use, the color of
their robes will ultimately approach black as a limit, a spokesperson said, "It
just ain't no fun here anymore," and suggested that this might be sufficient to
cause the organization to disband.
Manufacturers of prisms for physics instruction were aghast at the thought of
having to produce prisms that displayed only those specific colors for which no
bid was obtained or accepted. The National Council of Scientific Instrument
Manufacturers has stated its intent to petition the National Science Foundation
to create an Acceptable Use Policy that would allow unrestricted use of the
visible part of the spectrum for instructional purposes only.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield was ecstatic about the auction, saying that the sky was
the limit for their bid for the X-ray frequencies. "Once we obtain these
frequencies for our appropriate use, medical care issues in this country with
respect to HMOs and PPOs can be definitively solved," a spokesperson said.
Manufacturers of sunscreen and other blocking agents bid highly for the ultra-
violet part of the spectrum, vowing to place them in a public trust for public
benefit, saying, "the public cannot be deprived of this valuable natural
resource. By our actions, we shall preserve it for future generations."
Monochrome computer video display manufacturers expressed secret satisfaction at
the sudden move. One of them volunteered off the record, "Since black is the
absence of any color, we'll be in business as long as we can use any other
visible frequency whatsoever!"
In an ironic consequence of this new policy, representatives of the ITU were
unable to sign the agreement awarding the charcoal gray frequency to Brooks
Brothers because the only pen available used ink of a color that had already
been auctioned off. Knowing the integrity of the UN family of organizations, the
Brooks Brothers representative consummated the deal with a handshake.
A resale market for frequencies has rapidly developed. The Chicago Commodities
Exchange has announced that it is making a primary market in frequency rights,
and trading has begun. At press time, October yellows in the 3.34-3.50 THz
range were quoted at $2.50 bid and $2.625 asked per angstrom, with 146 contracts
already finalized. Christmas season reds and greens have quadrupled in price
since the market opened, and traders are anticipating vigorous market activity
later this year.
ITU officials were very pleased with the results of the auction so far,
declaring that the revolution had just started. Said one ITU representative,
"With this auction we've only affected the space impacting one of the five human
senses. We're currently looking into the ownership of rights to the audible
frequencies and olfactory space, and we hope to proceed with another offering
The Headquarters of the International Telecommunications Union is located in