Dramatic events recently such as the internet shutdowns in Arab states and the WikiLeaks clampdown are pressing reminders that an open and fair internet cannot be taken for granted. In March APC brought together 100 researchers, innovators and activists to strategise.
Although in Argentina a debate does exist on the spectrum, it prioritises aspects related to broadcasting and obscures those related to telecommunications. Florencia Roveri and Flavia Fascendini of Nodo Tau clarify this issue in this interview conducted as part of the “Open spectrum for development” project.
Together with CIESPAL and with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), APC has developed seven videos that explain what radio spectrum is and how it can affect our rights.
The spectrum both surrounds us and passes through us. Made up of waves of energy that allow us to communicate the way we do today – through radio, television, mobile phones, wireless internet and more — spectrum is an invisible common link that ties our societies together. A global shift in spectrum regulation is currently under way with regulatory reforms being developed and proposed in several countries. As the internet and wireless communication increasingly merge into a singular form of communication, we will be presented with unique opportunities to adapt to open, trusting and collaborative forms of regulation and technology use. This introduction to developing a policy on open spectrum by spectrum expert Evan Light for APC, breaks down what spectrum is, how it works and why governments with under-served communities stand to gain so much from opening up the spectrum to more users and uses.
Argentina is one of only three countries in the world that privatised spectrum. However the recent renationalisation of its control, together with the participative drafting of a new radio broadcasting law and a national plan for internet access, make this an auspicious time
APC’s “open spectrum” initiative aims to provide an understanding of spectrum regulation by examining the situation in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In this synthesis, the project’s consultant Carlos Afonso brings together the most important aspects of the studies in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.