Monday, April 29, 2002

Auction delay To date, spectrum licensing has been the single most damaging government intrusion into the technology world. While Hollings (Dem, South Carolina) tries to top this with his outdo his Disney bought CBDTPA, the spectrum crowd still has a few tricks up its sleeve. There are moves afoot to force the FCC to actually hold the spectrum auction that's been delayed for two and a half years. The CTIA wants to postpone this indefinately until they work out a "more logical" spectrum plan.

The thing is that there is nothing more logical than a spectrum auction. Those most able to profitably use the spectrum will bid the highest for it, and if they get it wrong they can then sell those rights to other people. The market will decide which uses it most values, and those holding spectrum inefficiently will bear the opportunity cost and so sell the spectrum to those who can use it better. Spectrum is a rival good, so strong property rights and a free market will allocate it best.


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