I was among those who lead the charge against "first in time, first in right" for the band, which we referred to as "capture the flag." Basically, if you deployed all over the place first, you could claim the service territory. What we argued was that this was a splendid opportunity to see if all that Libertarian stuff about how private parties can work things out on their own is really true or just a bunch of hooey.
The jury is, of course, still out. But my observation (and not just from the linked to blog) is that licensees who like to talk big about hating the FCC and how they could get on just fine without it are extremely unhappy to find that they are living in Libertarianland after all. Mind you, all these yahoos have to do is pick up the phone and act like enlightened, self-interested grown ups. But they don't want that. They want to play capture the flag, and have the big bad FCC on their side in the event of a dispute.
Of course, they have a tech alternative. They can go to a system with "contention-based protocol" so that the devices play nicely with each other without human network architecture tricks. But again, that gets in the way of capture the flag.
As always, I'm reminded of that delightful quote by Spike:
We like to talk big, vampires do. "I'm going to destroy the world." Its just tough-guy talk. Struttin' round with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got dog racing, Manchester United, and you've got people... billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then, someone comes along with a vision. With a real... passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye Piccadilly, farewell Leicester-bloody-Square. You know what I'm saying?