WIFI - the new wave of community media.
Community radio and TV stations linked to a wifi network can be
a promising solution to the limits generally imposed in licensing
local spectrum for non profit initiatives. Web radio stations have
so far been marginalized, not offering a real alternative to the
fm dial, especially outside of office areas. The opportunity of
"un-wiring" small villages or city neighborhoods with
wifi bridges, combined with the launch of wifi-enabled radio receivers,
offers a whole new potential for the development of such projects.
WiFi local distribution of a radio (or television) signal could
provide small towns with one or more channels of community based
programming and music. My contribution would be a review of significant
experiments going on in the field, trying to map the current directions
of the technology. Also, by comparing the potential of wifi community
media to street television examples in italy, I'd like to highlight
the case for a revised look at spectrum politics and ecology, one
that enhance the right for many to communicate, as opposed to the
right of few to control the communication bandwidth we all access.