Spectrum for development - News
At an event hosted by APC, WAPA and Google Africa in October 2011, government officials, regulators, and industry leaders gathered to discuss the benefits of TV white spaces (TVWS). In a recent piece on this emerging issue, “TV’s white spaces connecting rural Africa” BBC News highlights outcomes from the spectrum workshop and potential unprecedented impacts on access.
The PISCES Project workshop on Wireless Networking in the Developing World got off to a great start on Tuesday, July 31, 2012.
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.
APC’s initiative “Open Spectrum for Development,” which analyses spectrum regulation in Africa, Asia and Latin America, has its own website to feature materials produced from the project.
APCNews interviewed Ermanno Pietrosemoli from EsLaRed and Russel Southwood from Balancing Act on some of the issues covered during a workshop organised by APC at the recent WSIS Forum in Geneva. Both agreed that workshops on TV white spaces sensitises stakeholders to deal with spectrum allocation from an important perspective that supersedes commercial interests.
From 14-18 May Geneva will be hosting the WSIS Forum 2012, where the Association for Progressive Communications has organised two thematic workshops on May 17th, one of them under the subject Television White Spaces.
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.
In an interview with APC, Maicu Alvarado and Gabriela Perona of CEPES share experiences of using the spectrum with a positive social impact and offer guidelines for thinking collectively about policies for managing the spectrum that aim for more than simply economic growth.
In Venezuela, community uses of the spectrum are privileged at the cost of generating uncertainty in the private sector. This discourages major investments in telecommunications and a wider discussion of the subject, according to Sandra Benítez and Ermanno Pietrosemoli of EsLaRed in this interview with APC.
Lack of knowledge about the ways that policies relating to the spectrum affect people’s lives is one of the primary obstacles for the participation of civil society in the regulatory debate. Marco Navas Alvear promotes solutions for this problem in this interview by APC as part of the “Open spectrum for development” project.
Management of the spectrum in Colombia is migrating towards a more flexible and participatory model. Nevertheless there is still a need for greater involvement of community media and social organisations as a counterweight to the voice of the commercial operators in discussions on the management of the spectrum, according to Lilian Chamorro of Colnodo, in this interview with APC.
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.
In Colombia, several government initiatives aim at broadening telecommunications access for the whole population through spectrum. Colombian civil society should make the most of recent opportunities to lobby for the design of a management model that is more efficient and that emphasises the social value of the spectrum say Lilian Chamorro and Ariel Barbosa, authors of a new study for APC.
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
Opportunities are emerging in the Peruvian political scenario to liberalise spectrum frequencies for open and community use. However academic institutions and civil society must participate get more involved in the policy and project debates say Maicu Alvarado y Gabriela Perona in a new report for APC.
Ecuador’s new constitution has created opportunities for democratising the spectrum based on a renewed vision of rights, and clearer definitions of the competencies required by the bodies that formulate policy and regulations. The priority now are civil society discussions on the legal reforms the new constitution demands says Marco Navas Alvear.
Venezuela’s socialist development model has brought about significant changes favouring the democratisation of spectrum say Sandra Benítez and Ermanno Pietrosemoli in a new study for APC. But doubts remain about who will loosen the private sector’s grip on the sector. Civil society plays a key watchdog role to ensure that the steps taken benefit the state, rather than the government of the day.
A new issue paper by South Africa-based ICT expert Steve Song for APC explains how wirless is crucial to bridging the digital divide. This article summarises some of the key points of his paper which is available for download.
TV white spaces can open up low-cost high-speed internet across Africa: All we need is the regulatory go-ahead
“We have the skills, the entrepreneurs, a spectrum model we can replicate, the standards, the technology and clearly we have the demand” said South African Henk Kleynhans in the wake of a TV white spaces workshop in Johannesburg last week. “All we need is a regulatory go-ahead.”
Unused TV white spaces could be the way to get highspeed wireless internet to millions living outside major African cities. Manufacturers are gearing up for mass production of white space devices and now is the time to act. APC and partners are coordinating an important workshop for govt officials, regulators and professionals in October.