New opportunities for internet access

The turning point, however, came in 1997 when the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) approved the 802.11 Standard, the basis of what is now known as WiFi.

Unlicensed spectrum

Figure 2: A special vehicle for spectrum monitoring in Montevideo, UruguayFigure 2: A special vehicle for spectrum monitoring in Montevideo, Uruguay

Although the main use of spectrum is for communication purposes, there are also other uses such as cooking food in microwave ovens, medical applications, garage door openers and so on.

Spectrum efficiency

Figure 1: Cellular sharing of spectrumFigure 1: Cellular sharing of spectrum

Besides issues of national sovereignty defence, very strong economic and political interests play a determinant role in the management of spectrum, largely due to the rapidly increasing economic value of spectrum.

Spectrum sharing

Our understanding of spectrum has changed a great deal since Marconi first spanned the Atlantic with his “wireless telegraph message”. In 1902, he used the whole spectrum available at the time to send a few bits per second over thousands of square kilometres.

The spark transmitter used for Marconi’s telegraph occupied all electromagnetic frequencies available to existing receivers.

Definition of spectrum

There is no simple definition of spectrum. From a technical viewpoint, spectrum is the range of electromagnetic waves that can be used to transmit information.

Make the Connection! First winner announced

30 January 2012 (APCNews)

The first winner of the Connect Your Rights: Make the Connection contest is Charlie Parra del Riego for his hilarious SOPA Guitar Solo. To learn how you can submit your own content, check out our call for submissions.

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Access to the internet and human rights - thanks Vint!

WELLINGTON 16 January 2012 (Joy Liddicoat for APC)

APC responds to Vint Cerf’s recent column, “Access to the Internet is Not a Human Right”, with an open letter supporting his challenge to the technical community and engineers to put human rights to the forefront of internet design.

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Sneak preview of GISWatch 2011

OTTAWA 28 October 2011 (GJ for APCNews)

The new edition of Global Information Society Watch 2011 focuses on internet rights and democracy. It features stories from almost 60 countries including on internet in prisons in Argentina and the role of social media during the Arab uprisings. GISW 2011 is out in December but you can read some chapters now online.

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