The Spectrum as Commons
Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)
RIETI Discussion Paper No. 02-E-002
The shortage of radio spectrum is the major roadblock to the development of wireless communications. This problem is usually attributed to the scarcity of spectrum, but in fact it is due to the inefficiency of spectrum management through government licensing. To improve the situation, spectrum auctions were held, with mixed results. Now such fragmentation of spectrum is harmful, because wireless LAN technologies that share a wide band enabled much more efficient communications than cellular telephones. Therefore it is better to open the spectrum as commons, instead of dividing it into narrow bands. Here I will propose new mechanism spectrum buyouts by which governments buy back spectrum from incumbents and then open it without license.
Note: Previously titled: The Spectrum as Commons: Digital Wireless Technologies and the Radio Policy
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: spectrum, commons, auction, regulation, communication, property rights
JEL Classification: L51
Date posted: May 14, 2002
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