A Look At The FCC’s Scarcity Policy

From this page, FCC, Media Bureau Staff Research Papers Affecting Media Policy and Regulation, you can get to John Berresford’s Scarcity Rationale for Regulating Traditional Broadcasting: An Idea Whose Time Has Passed which has garnered a certain amount of comment (CoCo, Freedom to Tinker, The Technology Liberation Front, Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog)


This paper concludes that the Scarcity Rationale for regulating traditional broadcasting is no longer valid. The Scarcity Rationale is based on fundamental misunderstandings of physics and economics, efficient resource allocation, recent field measurements, and technology. It is outmoded in today’s media marketplace. Perhaps in recognition of the Rationale’s flaws, many variations of it have been attempted, but none fares much better under sensible, factual analysis.

Jumping off from National Broadcasting Co,. Inc., et al. v. United States et al.; 319 U.S. 190 (1943) and Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC; 395 U.S. 367 (1969)