F.C.C. to Promote a Trading System to Sell Airwaves

From: hal@finney.org
Date: Mon Mar 13 2000 - 14:10:36 MST

I'm forwarding this here because we have occasionally had debates about
the wisdom and morality of allowing people to "own" the airwaves. This is
a form of abstract property that is different from the tangible stuff you
can hold in your hands, but not as elusive as intellectual propertly.

You can argue that you get efficient utilization of the frequency
spectrum by allowing people to buy and sell it as they do for other forms
of property. On the other hand, why should a property decision made by
people thousands of miles away affect whether I can make and operate a
transmitter from my own back yard?


> Source: New York Times
> http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/03/biztech/articles/13spec.html
> March 13, 2000
> F.C.C. to Promote a Trading System to Sell Airwaves
> WASHINGTON -- As the airwaves grow ever more congested with modern
> wireless communications, the federal government is developing plans to open
> up the spectrum by, in effect, treating its frequencies as commodities to
> be bought and sold as routinely as pork bellies or soybeans in the open
> market.
> Officials at the Federal Communications Commission say they are preparing
> rules that would create a trading system in which telecommunications
> companies of all kinds, from old-fashioned radio stations and telephone
> companies to purveyors of wireless Internet services, could bid for
> underused slivers of the spectrum that are already under the control of
> other companies.

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