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APCNews 134 – Open spectrum for development, Kenya, Nigeria – 24/1/11


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APCNewsJanuary 24 2011 – Year XI Issue 134 • Whether we realise it or not, spectrum frequencies are what facilitate many of our day-to-day activities – watching TV, listening to the radio, talking on the phone and surfing the internet. But not everyone can afford these communications costs, certainly not internet connectivity. New opportunities for opening up spectrum frequencies could make accessing the internet more affordable for all, without infringing on existing systems and foster innovation. The first findings are in from APC on new research into how opening spectrum can increase access and contribute to development.

Moving with the times: Opening spectrum so we can all communicateGISWatch 2010 report cover

MONTREAL (Evan Light for APCNews) - 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. More>

Read the full policy brief (19 pages)

More spectrum could make licensing a more transparent process in Nigeria

GULMARG (LC for APCNews) – Nigeria is arguably one of the leading countries in Africa with respect to spectrum deregulation and licensing. However while the country follows best practices on the telecommunications side, the process for allocating broadcasting licenses and frequencies lacks transparency and is still dependant on presidential approval. As two regulatory bodies prepare to merge to form a single entity, Nigeria to reconsider how it allocates broadcasting licenses, says Fola Odufuwa, ICT expert and author of a new APC report on spectrum management in Nigeria. More>

Opening up spectrum can prevent Kenya from running out

CALGARY (LC for APCNews) - Currently, about 20 million Kenyans own mobile phones. Mobile phones receive their signals over electromagnetic waves that are also used for everything from home appliances like microwave ovens and remote controls, to the radio and internet. These waves are assigned different frequencies or spectrum so that they don’t interfere with each other. However Kenya is at risk of running out of spectrum because of an outdated spectrum allocation framework and a disaster in day-to-day communications and the security of countless services is waiting to happen. A new study by Muriuki Mureithi commissioned by the APC proposes a solution. More >


Additional research from Brazil, India and South Africa in the coming weeks.


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APCNews is produced by APC – a worldwide network supporting the use of internet and ICTs for social justice and sustainable development since 1990. Write to apcnews@apc.org.

Sister news services APCNoticias and APCNouvelles offer original coverage in Spanish and French.

More information: http://www.apc.org/en/pubs/newsletters/listing

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Association for Progressive Communications (APC) 2011


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