Dear SIG Members,
Sorry for the delay: I'm in field-work in Atins with Troian, from
CooLab, looking for alternatives for local communication in deep
Maranhão. Currently, there's only satelite connection, so when it rains,
we became offline. We've tried to follow the kick-off meeting, but we
didn't get it.
Please, find below a few lines of my proposal to the Policy and
Regulation Wroking Group.
Policy and Regulation
Network Communities – SIG – ISOC
Spectrum has been a crucial and public resource for communication in the
last one hundred years. Since the introduction of radio, the potential
to amplify communication between people has been widely discussed.
However, worldwide spectrum is under-used and most of the cities are not
using even half of their allocated spectrum.
Although there is a technical evolution largely taking place, technical
alienation makes difficult the development of new possibilities
characteristic of technologies such as new multimedia communication
platforms. The dominant trend in public discussion around digital
technologies is frequently limited to how it is now possible to receive
more content with more lines and pixels (high-definition). Whilst
governments and the private sector pretend to the general public that
the spectrum is a scarce resource, today this is certainly not true, and
there is a lot of unused spectrum available.
The appeal of revenue involved in spectrum management is very powerful
making it difficult for regulators and national Governments to let go of
exclusive commercial use of the spectrum. The restriction of the use of
the spectrum creates an environment where pricing determines the actors
and rules for access, imposing a commercial relationship between civil
society and this fundamental right and ample resource.
The current debate about spectrum management considers that new
technologies can provide more efficient and equitable use of the
spectrum, leading us to a paradigm shift: the abundance of the spectrum.
In this context, what are the opportunities and challenges for
Communities Networks to use spectrum, particularly in the transition
from analogue to digital technologies?
The use of the spectrum in contemporary and diverse cultures requires a
socio-technical thinking, in an effort to reduce technological
alienation. Since not everyone has access to the same digital
development, we have a scenario where both analogue and digital
technologies share the potential of empowering far-to-reach communities,
who themselves desire to build communication networks and tools
collaboratively. Whilst these new media aesthetic objects have been
understood mostly by their economic potential, as instruments of work,
or, ideed, of consumption, Community Networks around the globe are
exploring multiple modalities of human-machine relation emerged from
local, ethnic and experimental uses.
Mesh networks, community cell phones, digital television, digital radio,
different communication infrastructures can be finally combined to
interactive services, and work as an effective tool which helps to
communicate over large territories. Combining old and new
communicational devices, Network Communities can produce their own
information and make it available to other distant and/or isolated
locations through lower energy consuming equipments as well as
connecting to the Internet to amplify locally and globally their
communicational public sphere.
Organize strategic meetings with SIG-members, technicians, authorities
and community leaders;
Co-produce pedagogical material with outlines for use of different
digital devices specific to locality and dissiminate information through
Mediate the institutional relations between key partners and potential
collaborators from different sectors;
Participate in public debates, and follow specialized telecom news
concerning regulation, technological advances and current challenges to
the effective use of the spectrum through different digital
Present papers to academic and activist communities to widen discussion
and attract further specialist collaborators.
Since 1997 I have been involved in local communication projects: Radio
Muda, a free radio installed in the centre of the University campus
which lead me to offer hundreds of worshops around Brazil, Latin America
and Europe. In 2003 and 2004, I became member of the Brazilian digital
television research group, responsible for interactive services. In
2005, I was invited to coordinate the digital worshops for the National
Cultural Policy “Pontos de Cultura”, and collaborated as advisor of
Brazilian gorvernment during the WSIS, in Tunis. In 2011, I became
General Secretary of the Brazilian Digital Radio Assoation, a group of
researchers dedicated to develop alternatives for autonomous global
digital communication through radio technologies. Currently, I’m
post-doc researcher in a federal university in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
lecture in Radio Political Economy, working with CooLab, building
communication infrastructure in the Brazilian Amazon.
In 2017 I have been involved in the organization of some spectrum
- International Conference Spectrum Communication Society – ESC IV (Nov.
13th and 14th 2017)
- Round table in the Internet Brazilian Forum (Pre-IGF, Nov. 15th 2017)
- Amazon Digital Television Seminar (Dec. 1th 2017)
Portuguese translator for
Digital Radio in Brazil: Not left, nor right. Let’s move forward