The Case for Unlicensed Spectrum
AbstractDemand for wireless data communication has risen rapidly in the past few years, raising important policy questions about how to allocate radio spectrum for this purpose. Historically, the US government has designated some spectrum for licensed use and a smaller but significant amount for unlicensed use. We discuss the advantages of each approach, and explain why unlicensed spectrum in particular has been a catalyst for innovation, and an important complement to licensed spectrum. We also explain why allocating a portion of spectrum for unlicensed use need not reduce government revenue from selling spectrum licenses, and the serious flaws in proposed auction-based approaches for determining the fraction of spectrum to leave unlicensed.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 11-002.
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
radio spectrum; unlicensed spectrum; managed commons; wi-fi;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
- L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
- O38 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
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- Gregory L. Rosston, 2013. "Increasing Wireless Value: Technology, Spectrum, and Incentives," Discussion Papers 12-015, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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