Sunday, June 17, 2012

Should radio spectrum be rented instead of sold?

Some thoughts on the market for radio spectrum (i.e. for how it should be licensed and sold): Presidential Panel Urges More Flexible Use of Spectrum.

"A just-completed report from a presidential advisory committee urges President Obama to adopt new computer technologies to make better use of a huge swath of the radio spectrum now controlled by federal agencies.

"The shift, which could be accomplished by presidential signature — and without Congressional involvement — would relieve spectrum congestion caused by the popularity of smartphones, and generate far more revenue for the federal government than auctioning spectrum to wireless carriers, according to the authors of the report.

"The new plan, which calls on the government to electronically rent or lease spectrum for periods of time as short as seconds using newly available computerized radio technologies, was presented publicly Friday to a meeting of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, or PCAST.

"The authors of the report included Eric E. Schmidt, the chairman of Google, Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer and Silicon Valley venture capitalists Mark P. Gorenberg and David E. Liddle, among others. The report is scheduled to be presented to the president in June after final editing."


dWj said...

cf FCC working papers on, among other things, auctions for allowing market determination of rules for different bands of spectrum. It seems likely that the optimal allocation includes some spectrum available for short-term use, but almost certainly some for at least long-term use, if not ownership per se.

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