I first heard about freeing spectrum a year or so ago from Michael Lenczner who was representing ISF at the UNESCO World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Winnipeg. I had no clue about wireless initiatives, wireless community groups, let alone anything about spectrum issues nor EMF at the time. I did however trust that these and spectrum issues were important & significant, as he was quite passionate about these topics and managed to get a paragraph on spectrum as a public good in the Communiqué drafted by attendees for Tunis.
Today, after listening, reading, joining a bunch of lists, meeting great smart people involved in these initiatives, redirecting a portion of my studies, getting my feet wet with OGWifi and paying attention i now know a little bit more (shesh and only scratching the surface!).
This morning my inbox delivers a thread Why 5.725-5.850 GHz band is not allowed in European Countries? on the WSFII List. Nerd alert! Here I am reading this stuff & wondering if i should curse that michael guy or invest my 5 bucks in savings towards his endeavours? (i think i will curse him a bit in my limited but colourful Yiddish and maybe toss in a coupla coins!).
I still do not fully comprehend the science behind EMF, but i am beginning to understand a bit more why these initiatives are important socially, the significance of wireless communication infrastructures as a means to freedom of expression, and how important it is to have spectrum allocated freely in the public domain - else only government (friendly and not so!) and the big rich kids in media & telecom corporations get to use all the EMF space for their own purposes, and finally to critically think about the invisible built environment.
All that to say that i think the EFIS tool below is pretty cool, (although i am not entirely sure how to use it), very important, and us mere non geek mortals need to understand these things, while the geeks need to speak a little more English soz everyday folks understand that the bits, bytes and physical elements they engineer for our communication infrastructures (which we pay for one way or another) along with the invisible stuff like EMF are inextricably linked to the free flow of ideas, information and knowledge. Furthermore how they are designed, organized and owned matters! Particularly for vulnerable peoples in contested territories, the rural poor or your community for that matter. Obvious perhaps? Well ask your grandpa, your neighbour or the social planning council, most social scientists, or municipal councilor what they know about it! And trust me, it is a killer topic at a cocktail party!
Here are some frequency tools:
contains information about frequency spectrum utilisation across Europe
With EFIS you can search for and compare spectrum allocations and applications as well as related information such as CEPT activities, Radio Interface Specifications and national or international regulations. The European table (ECA) also contains the harmonised standards related to Article 3.2 of the R&TTE Directive.
The terms for allocations used in EFIS
- are defined in the ITU Radio Regulations
- provide a general division of the spectrum and
- are a part of the national regulations.
In the summer of 2004, a project named Open Spectrum International began under the auspices of Czech Civic Association "Mista v Srdce." The aim was to promote awareness of "open spectrum" concepts outside North America, and to advocate the expansion of the radio bands available for license-exempt use. As we grew, it became clear that we needed an independent legal basis for our work. So in May 2005, we registered as a Dutch nonprofit foundation ("stichting") with offices in Amsterdam and Prague: Stichting Open Spectrum translates into English as the Open Spectrum Foundation.
Our survey of national regulations for license-exempt radio has enabled us to start identifying countries with restrictive policies which might possibly be changed with appropriate interventions. We expect to focus on the de-licensing of Wi-fi, as that is a proven technology with obvious benefits, and it can make even a wary regulator more comfortable with the idea of license-exempt radio. But we have many more ideas which we will implement as our budget permits - translating "open spectrum" texts into other languages, organising workshops and conferences, writing articles for popular publications, intervening in national regulatory consultations, etc.
Engaging public debate upon the strategic national resource of the radio spectrum, "The Invisible Wealth of Nations."
Who woulda guessed ay! From barefoot in Boracay eating papaya, living in a hut concerned about the Marcos regime, getting home from the Hotel California before sunrise, walking through typhoons and lost in rice terraces to 5.725-5.850 GHz lit on a Sunday morning! I need way more coffee to digest all of this, and well i think i will go and tend to my tangible hanging flower baskets with my daiglow blue dockers! Shesh what next? And Michael what was in the Kool-Aid you gave me? Rascal!