Questioning the Scarcity of the Spectrum: The Structure of a Spectrum Revolution

Journal of Internet Law, Vol. 8, No. 9, p. 21, March 2005

16 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2005  

Patrick S. Ryan

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Interdisciplinary Center for Law and Information Technology (ICRI); Google Inc.; University of Colorado at Boulder, Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program

Abstract

In this article, we will analyze the fundamental basis for the regulation of the spectrum as it has been described by numerous scholars in the past few decades. Specifically, we will explore the concept of "scarcity" from economic, sociopolitical, and legal perspectives. As the reader will quickly gather, this article advances a spectrum management philosophy that decries unwarranted centrally planned command-and-control systems and espouses market liberalism. Of course, the world is awash with literature describing the failures of centralized planning. Given that the spectrum continues to be managed under a centralized regime, we will nonetheless take another opportunity to consider some of these failures. In so doing, we will draw numerous analogies and metaphors, some (perhaps many) of them imperfect, that will help us to understand the core principles that we will examine. In fact, we will discuss this topic at length to (1) clarify the reasons that traditional principles no longer applies as it has in the past and (2) impart an alternate concept that embraces modern economic and regulatory principles.

Keywords: Spectrum scarcity, doctrine of scarcity, spectrum and the titanic, spectrum management

JEL Classification: K00, K23

Suggested Citation

Ryan, Patrick S., Questioning the Scarcity of the Spectrum: The Structure of a Spectrum Revolution. Journal of Internet Law, Vol. 8, No. 9, p. 21, March 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=806006

Patrick S. Ryan (Contact Author)

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Interdisciplinary Center for Law and Information Technology (ICRI) ( email )

Tiensestraat 41
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium
303-835-3574 (Phone)
303-265-9737 (Fax)

Google Inc. ( email )

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
United States
512-751-5346 (Phone)

University of Colorado at Boulder, Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program ( email )

Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
303-835-3574 (Phone)
303-265-9737 (Fax)

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