Phil Graham on 14 Nov 2000 01:07:27 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Re: Cellpohones and the cancer of cellspace

At 02:37 PM 13/11/00 +0100, you wrote:
>Roberto Verzola wrote:
> >Access to the ether should therefore be a matter of right, but
> >access to cellphone and telephone services are constrained by
> >private property considerations.
>While not wanting to get into a pissing match about media history, the
>"ether" has been controlled by international regulations for at least 75
>years. Most of the radio spectrum is reserved for "official" uses and
>commercial or public broadcasting while (with the exception of the babble
>of CB) private use of the "ether" for 2-way communication is restricted to
>licensed (ham) operators - and the license limits communication to little
>more than the exchange of technical data.

A more curious and perhaps disturbing aspect of current moves is that 
"official" users as you call them are being "shifted" to less "useful" 
frequencies to make way for the corporates. This not only includes military 
and police users (who will no doubt be far more truculent and expensive to 
move than the rest), but also more socially beneficial emergency services. 
I don't know what it's like elsewhere, but the "shifting" of emergency 
services here (Australia) has been nothing short of disastrous so far.

The other point, that S. Cisler has made, is that bandwidth is 
qualitatively the same as land in terms of its being an economic space -- 
it can only be held monopolistically. What's being sold in the auctions at 
the moment is the first (and only) global space. The fact that nation 
states are selling global rights to their electrospace is irrelevant in 
some respects. Once owned from "outside", the space will cease to be 
national; it will be a supranational, privately owned corporate monopoly 
(if it all works out to plan, which it probably won't).


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