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Conference: Getting Beyond Command-and-Control Regulation in Wireless Spectrum

There is consensus in the spectrum policy community that the economic and social potential of spectrum can best be realized by moving away from traditional command and control spectrum management and give more decision making power to wireless system operators. With the advent of flexible, tradable, exclusive licenses and modern unlicensed allocations, users can then decide what technology to use, and what services to deploy. However, the intense sibling rivalry between flexible exclusive licensing and unlicensed has obscured the fact that this transition has only just begun: most frequencies are still managed under a command and control regime. Further decentralization of spectrum management and delegation of powers will lead to more intensive and productive use of radio technology in many (though not necessarily all) cases, leading to new and cheaper services that will benefit consumers, companies and the economy at large. This conference will assess progress in the migration away from command and control regulation, and explore various ways to accelerate the decentralization and delegation of regulation. While it starts with the hypothesis that decentralization and delegation is desirable, this is an assumption whose validity and scope will be tested during the discussion.

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