From the Field - Summer 2012

Telecommunications Policy,
Volume 36,
Issue 8,
September 2012

Recognizing spectrum as a scarce resource and a significant factor in shaping competition in the mobile telecommunications market, Lundborg et al. analyze the impact of spectrum allocation on network cost. They find that if the cost of spectrum below 1 GHz and above 1GHz is not reflected in price differentiation, regulators can inadvertently affect market competition by selling unequal spectrum frequencies for the same base price.

First Monday,
Volume 17,
Issue 9,
September 3, 2012

Dias delves into Australia’s National Broadband Network’s (NBN) mission to provide broadband access as a public utility to all Australians and transform the country into one of the world’s top five digital economies by 2020. Dias articulates the heated debates around the implementation of this policy goal while also recognizing the equally important need to educate the population about the value of broadband access. Therefore, Dias proposes the Australian government pare their NBN strategy with a robust digital literacy project to help transform the network into a participatory citizen-driven initiative.

Media Culture and Society,
Volume 34,
Issue 6,
September 2012

Sørensen charts developments in the funding and distribution practices of UK documentaries, first covering the last ten years of documentary budget trends and then shifting focus to online crowdfunding and digital distribution. Outside of the online space, Sørensen argues that a reduction and polarization in documentary funding has increased many filmmakers’ reliance on new, Internet-based forms of funding and distribution. However, the dependency on crowd tastes has a profound affect on what topics do and do not get funded in this new crowdsourced landscape.

Television and New Media,
Volume 13,
Issue 5,
September 2012

Lobato and Thomas provide an interview transcript from talks they conducted with lead investigators on the Media Piracy in Emerging Economics project, an initiative that shifts the discussion on piracy away from lost sales to questions of access and equity.

Television and New Media,
Volume 13,
Issue 5,
September 2012

Cunningham compares the vibrant creative expression in the informal market of social media sites like Youtube to the threatening crisis in the business models of professional media, including film and broadcasting. Employing the concepts of coevolution and social network markets, Cunningham finds a balance between hyperbolic optimism and pessimism over the affects of digital disruption on the media industries, and argues that the monetization of amateur content represents a new form of media practice located between a bottom-up media citizenry and a top-down corporate structure.

Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies,
Volume 26,
Issue 5,
August 31, 2012

Like Kimberley Spreeuwenberg and Thomas Poell in the article cited above, Gerard Goggin examines Google’s Android platform and the company’s supposed dedication to open source development. While complimenting Google for its general open source ethos, Goggin argues that the company betrays its corporate media identity through steadfast control over its mobile and online platforms and by vigorously protecting its smartphone patents through the courts.

Flow,
Volume 16,
Issue 4,
August 14, 2012

Shanti Kumar moves the discussion away from the pros and cons of digital transition in the Indian television industry to examine the cultural implications of the transformation to a digitally addressable system (DAS) for audience tracking. Kumar argues that the desire for DAS in television runs parallel to other shifts toward identity tracking occurring in the economic and cultural sectors, including the recent use of currently voluntary Aadhaar ID numbers and “The Know Your Customer” system used by the banking industry.

Telecommunications Policy,
Volume 36,
Issue 7,
August 2012

Looking at market-driven vs. institutional-driven consumer behaviors in China’s emergent 3G/4G marketplace, Jun Xia does important work mapping China’s communications industry, tracking the development of competition regulation, and exposing the inner workings of China’s state-owned-enterprises system in the telecom sector.

Telecommunications Policy,
Volume 36,
Issue 7,
August 2012

Using interviews with Peruvian telecommunications professionals and policy makers, along with supplemental statistics and data, the researchers mapped the landscape of expert opinions on how to best implement a vibrant broadband infrastructure in Peru. Having communicated the economic benefits of broadband and the obstacles for its implementation, the researchers then offer four proposals for the development of a Peruvian broadband system. 

New Media and Society,
Volume 14,
Issue 5,
August 2012

Morris takes the user-created databases Compact Disc Database and ID3 tags as case studies and places digital metadata within the broader history of music and digital objects. He argues that although started as hobbyist projects, both identification systems have evolved into cornerstones of the digital music ecosystem, returning organizational tags to music files and (re)commodifying those items which may have been obtained through unauthorized networks. This research is especially pertinent in an era of digital transition for other media, including film and television.

Bibliography