Control of Mobile Air Space Could Become a Monopoly

By Patrick Brogan

Mobile phones are a real game changer. Think of how much influence they have on our lives. Whatsapp, Facebook, Tinder, Google Maps, Twitter, Instagram. An endless list of apps. All to improve our lives in some way. And they have. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be as popular as they are. Just to give you some context of our mobile phone dependency, research was carried out last year by mobile phone researcher Dscout and they found that the average user touches their android 2,600 times, engaged in 76 different sessions and spent 2.42 hour a day on the device as reported by Newstalk. And this is just the average user, there are those that take it to extremes.

Spectrum

Now think of the power they have over our lives. All that data. Who controls this unlimited flow of information? Spectrum isn’t the name of an upcoming James Bond film, it’s the name given to the radio frequency where wireless signals interact and travel before becoming porn being received as data on your smartphone. As the number of signals increases, it becomes more important to have some degree of control over this as the signals interacting may cause chaos. This blog is full of more information on this. Now, consider the power of any institution or individual that managed the wireless Spectrum.

Summing it up in an informative, albeit humorous way, here is Jonathan Pie.

Make the Air Fair

There are a number of issues brought up in the video, but it all relates back to the creation of a monopoly. An organisation called Make the Air Fair is trying to change that. However, it is a difficult battle as they state themselves; “In fact, since their merger, BT/EE already own 42%, a large slice of which they’re not even using.” This seems grossly unfair. Companies that are not even using the Spectrum they already have are trying to hoover up the rest of the British wireless space. This goes against one of the most basic tenets of capitalism, that which respects the laws of competition.

The EU

As we have seen before, our friends in the EU are not worried about competition laws, like we reported. As it stands, BT/EE owning 42% of market share goes against its own European Commission‘s law of no company holding more than 15% of market share. This has been flaunted many times and this inconsistency is driving people mad. No wonder Britain decided to leave the union. All this coincides with the worrying trend of attempts to privatise the Internet. The Angela Merkel backed TTIP is a good example.


This has been flaunted many times and this inconsistency is driving people mad. No wonder Britain decided to leave the union.


Bad News

What does it all mean? Well, it’s bad news for the consumer and good news for corporations looking to create monopolies. Really, this is much more worrying. The Internet is the greatest source of information available to humans, even in an age of fake news and alternative facts, valuable information only exists here because of the agenda of the mainstream media. Someone looking to control more of this flow of information is bad for human rights, democracy and humanity as a whole.

 

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