publication . Article . Preprint . 2001

The Wireless Craze, the Unlimited Bandwidth Myth, the Spectrum Auction Faux Pas, and the Punchline to Ronald Coase's

Thomas W. Hazlett;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Jan 2001 Journal: SSRN Electronic Journal (eissn: 1556-5068, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: Elsevier BV
Abstract
In 1959 the Federal Communications Commission invited economist Ronald Coase to testify about his proposal for market allocation of radio spectrum rights. The FCC's first question: "Is this all a big joke?" Today, however, leading policy makers - including the current FCC Chair - decry the "spectrum drought" produced by administrative allocation and call for the creation of private bandwidth markets. This essay examines marketplace trends driving regulators' change of humor, and considers the path of spectrum policy liberalization in light of emerging technologies, theories of unlimited bandwidth, reforms such as FCC license auctions, and recent progress in dere...
Subjects
free text keywords: Spectrum auction, License, Law and economics, Faux pas, Economics, Liberalization, Common value auction, Commission, Emerging technologies, Coase theorem
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