Most communications policies around the globe have been developed on models based on the economic, political and social realities of North America and Europe – which assume large private companies build expansive national wired infrastructures. So laws and regulations have evolved with the understanding that these wired networks are the main communication infrastructure and that wireless networks connect through them. But wired networks do not exist in many developing countries and do not necessarily need to be built.
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.
As one of the world’s fastest growing economies and with over 65% of its billion-plus population under 35, India has huge potential. But according to a new report by Shyam Ponappa, commissioned by APC the current model for managing spectrum in India could be a huge barrier to the country’s economic and social development. Instead, he suggests that “it would be much more conducive to a sound economy…to have two to three main operators as we do with the provision of utilities.
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.