Market-Oriented Spectrum Policy Evolution in the United States

By Margie Dickman, Senior Policy Counsel at Intel

Intel has long advocated that governments adopt spectrum polices that are technology neutral and service flexible. Dave Horne of Intel’s Communications Policy Team recently produced a white paper titled Market-Oriented Spectrum Policy Evolution in the United States.pdf, which covers U.S. regulatory history from the early days of cellular radio and technology mandates to more recent flexible allocations.

As Dave states in the introduction:

This paper will examine the evolution of market-oriented, flexible spectrum policy via the regulatory history of the United States (U.S.) mobile communications market. Spanning several decades, the history begins with cellular radio in the late 1960s. The U.S. market provides a useful case study since the spectrum regulation framework evolved, somewhat experimentally, from the “homogeneity approach” to the “flexible approach,” via a number of incremental policy changes.

In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) is the regulatory agency charged with regulating radio communications…. The rich history documented in the Commission’s rulemaking proceedings (or dockets) dealing with radio communications issues serves as the basis for the information presented herein. A chronology of the evolution from the homogeneity approach to the flexible approach is described, along with the Commission’s rationale as it trended, in a piecemeal manner, toward greater flexibility. The changing sentiment of market participants over the course of these decisions in the Commission’s Dockets also is noted.

Both veterans and new students of U.S. spectrum policy will find Dave’s paper an interesting read.

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