A comprehensive book on spectrum policy is reviewed by marc beishon. The key theme is liberalisation and its limitations and future.
Spectrum is a subject that hardly sets the pulse racing. Its technicalities can be yawn inducing and the various strategies for allocating it to operators are enlivened only by the often eye-watering sums that they have to pay to buy capacity in auctions, which can be entertaining. Despite thousands of the world’s policymakers and technical experts descending on Geneva at the ITU’s latest World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15), where vital decisions about the economy’s underpinning communications get hammered out, there’s been little mention in national media.
So it’s a tribute to the authors of Understanding Spectrum Liberalisation that they have managed to turn this potentially very dry topic into a lively narrative that they feel achieves two main aims – to provide an introduction to spectrum policy to those new to the subject and who may well be ‘puzzling’ over it, and an interpretation of current developments for those already in the field. Further, by tracing the history of spectrum policy, the story parallels the way regulation in general has developed, and so makes a good and ongoing case study in regulatory policy.
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