A Conversation on the Political Spectrum by Thomas Hazlett

Estefanía Campos  | 10 de abril de 2018  | Vistas: 71

Thomas Hazlett, author of The Political Spectrum: The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology from Herbert Hoover to the Smartphone visited Universidad Francisco Marroquín where he discussed with students the highlights of his book.

In his book, he traces the history of electromagnetic spectrum regulation in an entertaining and inspiring way that implies huge changes in the technologies of the future. He demonstrates how regulatory processes threat the natural growth in today’s media and shares his thoughts on economics, politics, technology and mayhem in disruptive technologies that changed the world and political coalitions that sought to stifle them, along with other related topics. Hazlett begins by describing what is spectrum:

No natural resource is likely to be more critical to human progress in the twenty-first century that radio spectrum. Invisible odorless, and ubiquitous, it is the space through which electronic communications travel.”

Later he talks about the history, evolution and property rights of radio, and later the conflicts that emerged because before 1927 the allocation of frequencies was left entirely to the private sector, and the result was caos.

Hazlett shares the story of professor Edwin Howard Armstrong, who invented AM radio and later the emergence of FM radio, the crisis it went through and it success afterwards. A radical experiment in property rights to radio spectrum was done by Giancarlo Ibárgüen and Fredy Guzmán, alumni of UFM, who got 3G coverage in Guatemala.

These are real dollars, real development outcomes and real freedoms that are being created through liberal spectrum policy”.

Finally he concludes that the liberalization of political spectrum is a success, yet it is incomplete, but we know the path. 

We recommend you: Property Rights and Spectrum Policy.


Professor and Author, The Political Spectrum


Nuestra misión es la enseñanza y difusión de los principios éticos, jurídicos y económicos de una sociedad de personas libres y responsables.

Universidad Francisco Marroquín