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Thomas Hazlett’s book, The Political Spectrum, is subtitled ‘The tumultuous liberation of wireless technology, from Herbert Hoover to the smartphone’. It is of course about radio spectrum – which he says is a natural resource likely to be more critical to human progress in the 21st century than any other. This book treads a path between an academic textbook and a more accessible read about this vital resource, and has the overriding message that there must be more freedom to speed up spectrum use. Hazlett’s approach can be summarised in this remark towards the end of this highly detailed book: “Spectrum allocation has a long history of paradox. The best tool for understanding it is not the physics of radio waves but in the economics of public choice, which explains how special interests craft political coalitions and ally with regulators to distribute favours that bless the anointed while shorting entrepreneurial risk taking.”


You may think we are doing well with spectrum, but this book soon dispels that idea. Getting politics out of the way and truly liberalising spectrum is the only way.

Intermedia Issue:
Vol 45, Issue 03
Issue Date:
September 2017
Infrastructure and Spectrum
Marc Beishon Marc Beishon Former Editor, InterMedia

Vol 45, Issue 03 Features

EDITORIAL 14.09.2017
ARE WE LOSING CONTROL? 14.09.2017 Robin Mansell
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