Treating the Wireless Spectrum as a Natural Resource

Environmental Law Reporter, Vol. 35, p. 10620, September 2005

10 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2005

Abstract

As this Article demonstrates, most experts agree that the electromagnetic spectrum is a vital natural resource. Yet European and U.S. governments fail to treat it as such. The author looks at contributions made by two scholars, Ronald Coase's public trust doctrine and Garrett Hardin's tragedy of the commons, and examines their influence on the debate surrounding the electromagnetic spectrum's classification as a natural resource. The author then addresses sustainability concerns and argues that as is the case with all natural resources, a balance between overexploitation and underexploitation is needed in the management of the spectrum.

Keywords: Wireless spectrum, tragedy of the commons, Ronald Coase, Garrett Hardin, sustainable consumption

JEL Classification: K10, K32

Suggested Citation

Ryan, Patrick, Treating the Wireless Spectrum as a Natural Resource. Environmental Law Reporter, Vol. 35, p. 10620, September 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=793526

Patrick Ryan (Contact Author)

Berkeley Law ( email )

United States
303-669-5710 (Phone)

Stanford University ( email )

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