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« Boingo Reaches out to EMEA | Main | BT Ups Roaming »

June 1, 2005

Spectrum Reform Movement Picks up Steam in Europe

By Nancy Gohring

A group of open spectrum enthusiasts met in London last week: The Wireless Utopias meeting was organized by the Open Spectrum UK folks, who earlier this year got together when drafting a response to proposals from Ofcom, the UK regulator. The Wireless Utopias Web site has loads of interesting information and leaders of Open Spectrum UK promise to post a video of last week’s meeting on the site.

Other activities around the push to open spectrum on a license-free basis have also occurred. Article 19, a group that defends freedom of expression as a human right, published an analysis that generally outlines how licensing can be consistent with international human rights law. This paper builds on suggestions made earlier in Open Spectrum UK’s response to Ofcom which is likely the first time that human rights has been cited as a reason why governments are required to essentially default toward the license-free model.

The paper from Article 19 notes that historically the airwaves were mostly used by governments or big corporations using high-powered equipment and as such the practice of licensing such equipment was justifiable because of the risks of interference. But nowadays, devices operate at lower power levels (often because of regulations, though this analysis doesn’t note that fact) and have the capability to compensate for interference. “There is a risk that force of habit might lead some telecommunications regulators to over-regulate modern, low-interference devices,” the report reads.

This document from Article 19 could be useful fodder for groups working in developing countries to free up unlicensed spectrum.

Posted by nancyg at June 1, 2005 3:40 PM

Categories: spectrum

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