IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A policy spectrum for spectrum economics


  • Freyens, Benoît


Recent reforms to radio spectrum regulation have sparked controversy over the respective merits of two mutually exclusive liberalization regimes: property rights and commons. This debate is restrictive because it is largely incomplete and misunderstood. It is also costly in terms of opposition and delays to reforms. Goals of efficient spectrum allocation are better served by a wider policy toolkit, inclusive of hybrid and intermediary regimes. In this article I sketch the contours of a [`]spectrum of spectrum regimes', triangulating regulatory, private ownership and unlicensed approaches. I illustrate this triangulated model, which I then apply to confront allocative decisions in digital dividend policy, such as the FCC's open access clause in the 700Â MHz auction and Ofcom's current review of UHF spectrum release in the 800Â MHz band.

Suggested Citation

  • Freyens, Benoît, 2009. "A policy spectrum for spectrum economics," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 128-144, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:21:y:2009:i:2:p:128-144

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Levin, Harvey J, 1970. "Spectrum Allocation without Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(2), pages 209-218, May.
    2. Buchanan, James M & Yoon, Yong J, 2000. "Symmetric Tragedies: Commons and Anticommons," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 1-13, April.
    3. Faulhaber, Gerald R., 2006. "The future of wireless telecommunications: Spectrum as a critical resource," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 256-271, September.
    4. Melody, William H, 1980. "Radio Spectrum Allocation: Role of the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 393-397, May.
    5. Hazlett, Thomas W, 1998. "Spectrum Flash Dance: Eli Noam's Proposal for "Open Access" to Radio Waves," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 805-820, October.
    6. Shelanski, Howard A & Huber, Peter W, 1998. "Administrative Creation of Property Rights to Radio Spectrum," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 581-607, October.
    7. repec:reg:rpubli:224 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124-124.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Massaro, Maria & Pogorel, Gérard, 2015. "Next generation of radio spectrum management licensed shared access and the trade-off between static and dynamic efficiency," 2015 Regional ITS Conference, Los Angeles 2015 146322, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    2. Grønnevet, Gorm A. & Hansen, Bjørn & Reme, Bjørn-Atle, 2016. "Spectrum policy and competition in mobile data," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 34-41.
    3. Durantini, Annalisa & Martino, Mauro, 2013. "The spectrum policy reform paving the way to cognitive radio enabled spectrum sharing," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 87-95.
    4. Thaw Tar Min & Fife, Elizabeth & Bohlin, Erik, 2014. "Myanmar national spectrum management policy: Is it best practice?," 25th European Regional ITS Conference, Brussels 2014 101431, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    5. Freyens, Benoît Pierre & Loney, Mark, 2013. "Emerging issues in white space regulation," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 208-218.
    6. El-Moghazi, Mohamed & Whalley, Jason & Irvine, James, 2017. "The Future of International Radio Regulations: Transformation Towards Sharing," 28th European Regional ITS Conference, Passau 2017 169457, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    7. Minervini, Leo Fulvio, 2014. "Spectrum management reform: Rethinking practices," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 136-146.
    8. Benoît Pierre Freyens & Chris Jones, 2014. "Efficient Allocation of Radio Spectrum," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(1), pages 1-23, February.
    9. Chou, Yuntsai, 2014. "A compensation model developed to liberalize spectrum in the G4 era," 20th ITS Biennial Conference, Rio de Janeiro 2014: The Net and the Internet - Emerging Markets and Policies 106897, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    10. Benoît P. Freyens, 2012. "Licensing Options for Digital Dividend Spectrum: An Australian Perspective," Chapters,in: Regulation and the Performance of Communication and Information Networks, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Freyens, Benoît Pierre & Loney, Mark & Dissanayake, Tharaka, 2014. "Dynamic usage of narrowband spectrum," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 173-185.
    12. Massaro, Maria & Pogorel, Gérard & Bohlin, Erik, 2015. "Next Generation of Radio Spectrum Management: Licensed Shared Access and the trade-off between Static and Dynamic Efficiency," 26th European Regional ITS Conference, Madrid 2015 127164, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    13. Chou, Yuntsai & Hu, Weimin & Lien, Hsienming, 2015. "A compensation model developed to increase spectrum usage efficiency in the 4G era," 2015 Regional ITS Conference, Los Angeles 2015 146334, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:21:y:2009:i:2:p:128-144. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.