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Legal and regulatory issues regarding spectrum rights trading


  • Farquhar, Michele C.
  • Fitzgerald, Ari Q.


The FCC's historic "command-and-control" approach to spectrum management has contributed to spectrum scarcity, especially as it relates to spectrum below 3Â GHz. This approach has also made it difficult for spectrum users to adjust their business plans to the needs of the marketplace. A more flexible regulatory regime would increase spectrum efficiency and foster innovation and new services. In order to promote more flexible use of spectrum, the authors recommend a number of regulatory and statutory changes, including (1) the elimination of use restrictions for new wireless allocations; (2) the replacement of existing use restrictions with power limits sufficient to minimize the potential for harmful interference; (3) the enactment of rules expressly allowing private parties to "contract around" established interference limits; and (4) the identification of "safe harbor" spectrum leasing arrangements that are deemed permissible under the FCC's license transfer of control requirements. The authors also recommend a number of statutory reforms, including granting the FCC express statutory authority to auction spectrum licenses held by private parties and assess spectrum fees upon users of auction-exempt spectrum.

Suggested Citation

  • Farquhar, Michele C. & Fitzgerald, Ari Q., 2003. "Legal and regulatory issues regarding spectrum rights trading," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 527-532, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:27:y:2003:i:7:p:527-532

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    Cited by:

    1. Fulvio Minervini & Diego Piacentino, 2007. "Spectrum Management and Regulation: Towards a Full-Fledged Market for Spectrum Bands?," Working Papers 07-2007, Macerata University, Department of Studies on Economic Development (DiSSE), revised Nov 2008.
    2. Baldini, Gianmarco & Holland, Oliver & Stavroulaki, Vera & Tsagkaris, Kostas & Demestichas, Panagiotis & Polydoros, Andreas & Karanasios, Stan & Allen, David, 2013. "The evolution of cognitive radio technology in Europe: Regulatory and standardization aspects," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 96-107.


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