Sending Out an S.O.S.: Public Safety Communications Interoperability as a Collective Action Problem

33 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2007 Last revised: 20 Sep 2008

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

This Article argues that lack of public safety communications interoperability is the result of what economist Mancur Olson called a collective action problem, and that it is the result of the national policy of public safety spectrum segregation and balkanization. It explores how market forces can be employed to solve collective action problems and also surveys several successful commercial interoperable communications networks shared by public safety users and private customers. It also applies the lessons from a series of case studies and suggests an outline for a spectrum policy that could harness market forces to alleviate the collective action problem responsible for lack of public safety interoperability.

Keywords: public safety, first responders, interoperability, communications, spectrum

JEL Classification: k29, l96,

Suggested Citation

Brito, Jerry, Sending Out an S.O.S.: Public Safety Communications Interoperability as a Collective Action Problem (2007). Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 59, p. 457, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=960769

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