The role of markets in spectrum policy

Key Points

U.S. spectrum policy failed to utilize markets for a long time because it mistakenly viewed spectrum as a uniquely scarce resource.
Over time, government command and control of spectrum has gradually given way to more market-based spectrum management, but vestiges of the old model still plague the system.
The U.S. should seek to further enhance the role of markets in spectrum policy by enacting reforms like greater license flexibility, perpetual license terms, and strong first amendment protections for broadcast.


“…as with other economic goods like land and paper, the most efficient way of allocating spectrum [is]…to create a market for it rather than to give it away for free at the whims of the FCC.”




Image credit: Febris

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