A policy spectrum for spectrum economics
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.
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- 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.
- 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 805-20, October.
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- 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.
- 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.
- Melody, William H, 1980. "Radio Spectrum Allocation: Role of the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 393-97, May.
- 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.
- Levin, Harvey J, 1970. "Spectrum Allocation without Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(2), pages 209-18, May.
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