This article uses a case study of urban Canada to explore the contentious issue of spectrum scarcity. Drawing upon infrastructure studies, this article argues for more critical approaches to this essential element of contemporary communications. The first part of the article explores positions of various actors in the antagonistic debate regarding spectrum scarcity in the lead up to the Canadian 700 MHz spectrum auction, held in 2014. The second part of the article provides unique empirical data for spectrum traffic on licensed frequencies in a busy urban location. The article reaches an unanticipated conclusion that demonstrates shortcomings in current allocation methods.