chapter  2
69 Pages

The ITU and the Radio Frequency Spectrum: Use and Management of a Shared Universal Resource

WithJames G. Savage

This chapter examines the progress of the basic relationships characterizing the Radio Frequency Spectrum (RFS) management issue. It traces the motives behind the creation of the International Telecommunications Regulation (ITU) allocations system and focuses on the RFS management order along with certain emergent issues. National administrations have realized that high frequency broadcasting is the least governable aspect of ITU activities, as it remains that portion of the spectrum most plagued by deliberate interference, illegal frequency use, and excessive demands for frequencies. The growing Lesser-Developed Country voice in the ITU is increasingly expressing itself through World administrative radio conferences. Modern-day disappointment with the ITU on the part of some American officials and observers may stem in part from the unbounded expectations and optimism of the immediate post-war era. The United States, while the dominant actor in the ITU, could never entirely convince the more conservative French, Italian, or Swiss administrations of the merits of a priori planning.