November 21, 2011

The Federal Communication Commission's Excellent Mobile Competition Adventure

  • Thomas Hazlett

Key materials
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In 1994 the FCC, having finally received permission from Congress, began to assign wireless rights not by arbitrary "public interest" determinations but to the companies that bid the most. Though license auctions were a substantial policy advance, the underlying spectrum-allocation system has yet to change. It continues to impose bottlenecks, throttling economic growth and sabotaging consumer interests. To bring the wireless industry into the twenty-first century, policymakers must move to liberalize not just license assignments, but spectrum allocation itself.