Thursday, February 28, 2008

FCC Publishes Studies on Spectrum Management Issues

The FCC's Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis (OSP) released three working papers
on two important spectrum management issues:

Working Paper #41, "Enhancing Spectrum's Value Via Market-informed Congestion Etiquettes"
and Working Paper #42, "Modeling the Efficiency of Spectrum Designated to License Use and
Unlicensed Operations,"
examine ways in which spectrum designated to licensed and unlicensed use can
be more efficiently used. Under the examined environment, theory predicts that society leaves half of the value it can
receive from spectrum "on the table."

The FCC said one new approach to spectrum management utilizes various types of user information to address the inefficient use
problem. Assuming a close similarity between the naturally occurring environment and the experimental
one, analysis reveals that the average efficiency of the existing etiquette employed in most unlicensed
equipment is 42%. In comparison, experimental analysis reveals that the average efficiency of one
market-informed etiquette - the Informed Greedy Algorithm - is 70%. This and other results form the
factual basis for generating an entirely new type of spectrum allocation wherein a given band of spectrum
is treated as a common pool resource in the absence of excessive spectrum congestion, but is treated as an
excludable private good in the presence of such congestion.

Working Paper #43, "A Market-based Approach to Establishing Licensing Rules: Licensed
Versus Unlicensed Use of Spectrum,"
examines the feasibility of employing a market mechanism to
determine whether spectrum should be designated to either licensed or unlicensed use.

The full text of each working paper is available online.