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The Possibility of Spectrum as a Public Good (13 Aug 2004)
Beneath the simple challenge of avoiding interference, though, is a deeper and more hidden fear. Spectrum is currently valuable because it is scarce, and it is scarce because it is treated like property. Even if novel uses of spectrum can be shown not to interfere with the current broadcast model, evidence that spectrum can be transmuted from a property-rights model to being treated as a public good might not be welcome, in part because it could call into question the hold the broadcasters have on spectrum. This is especially true now that over 85% of television viewers get their TV from cable and satellite, not from traditional broadcast.
Article URL: http://shirky.com/writings/spectrum_public_good.html

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