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Thu, 17 May 2007 16:17:39 +1000
Ellie Rennie <[log in to unmask]>
Ellie Rennie <[log in to unmask]>
This listserv will be used to facilitate communication among alternative media academics <[log in to unmask]>
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I raised the issue of 'open spectrum' during the digital television plenary roundtable at OM6. I am keen to know what other people in the network think about it so have pasted a link to a news article (by me) which summarises its relevance to community media. You can read the start of the article below.
As you will see (if you follow the link), this is an issue that our friends at Prometheus Radio (US) seem to be getting active on - and I always find their work somewhat 'visionary'.
Comments and gentle criticism welcome.

Excerpt only. Full article can be found at:

The Open Spectrum movement sees a future in which the community can directly access the airwaves, writes ELLIE RENNIE, and Dewayne Hendricks is showing how it can be done...

IN 2010, or thereabouts, the Australian government plans to switch-off analogue television transmitters. The electromagnetic spectrum, or radio waves, currently occupied by the free-to-air analogue channels will be vacated. You might call it an eviction, except that most of the current tenants (the commercial and national television broadcasters) have already been given the equivalent of rent-controlled penthouse suites on another band reserved for digital television. So what will happen to the old “analogue” spectrum? Will it be auctioned off to the highest bidder or left for media squatters to inhabit?

The media experts have been assuming that the leftover channels will be used for new digital television services. But recent developments in the US and UK indicate that the vacant radio waves may be put to a different use altogether. Ofcom (the UK’s Office of Communications) is currently undertaking a “Licence-Exemption Framework Review” which proposes to set aside greater bandwidth for devices that can transmit information without needing permission from the regulator. In other words, we may see new portions of the airwaves turned into a public commons which anyone can use as long as they comply with some basic rules. “Licence exempt” does not mean that you can start transmitting a new London-wide television channel from a bedsit in Brixton * at least not in the near future. But it may pave the way for new communications technologies that will transform the communications landscape in ways that are perhaps even more radical.

To read more go to:

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