Replacing Spectrum Auctions with a Spectrum Commons

Posted: 2 Aug 2001 Last revised: 25 May 2014

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2002


This article argues that new technologies (such as spread spectrum and ultra-wideband) make the idea of divisible allocations of the spectrum obsolete, at least as to some applications. Thus, we should consider regulating the spectrum as a "common pool regime," to use the political science term. In the article, the author draws extensively on the vast literature - anthropological, sociological, political, and game-theoretic - dealing with how to govern a successful commons, and try to apply that research to the spectrum. The conclusion is that the common pool regime may be the most efficient property allocation system for certain aspects of the spectrum.

Keywords: spectrum, commons, property

JEL Classification: K20, Q28

Suggested Citation

Buck, Stuart, Replacing Spectrum Auctions with a Spectrum Commons (2002). Stanford Technology Law Review, Vol. 2, 2002, Available at SSRN:

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