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Short Article on the Past, Present and Future of Spectrum

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by JFB, May 19, 2015.

  1. JFB

    JFB Gold Senior Member
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    The Last Laugh

    In 1959 – decades before the commercialization of mobile phones – an economist at the University of Virginia proposed a novel theory as to how the FCC should issue licenses for use of the airwaves: auction them. Professor Ronald Coase’s proposal was not particularly well-received, including at the FCC where regulators enjoyed quite a bit of discretion to dole out licenses as they saw fit, including via so-called “comparative hearings” that later came to be known pejoratively as “beauty contests.” When Coase was called to explain his auction proposal at an FCC hearing, the first question he faced was: “Tell us, Professor, is this all a big joke?”

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