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practical measures leading to "a more just and effective world information order."
"New world information order"
As one of its original objectives, UNESCO sought to promote the free flow of information and of international exchanges. As more developing countries came into being and joined the U.N. system, this objective became "a free and balanced flow of information;" a growing emphasis was placed on the balancing element. Third World Countries have sought recognition within UNESCO of their demand for a "New World Information Order," the rhetorical complement of the New International Economic Order.
A nonaligned resolution adopted by the 1978 UNESCO General Conference called for the establishment of a "new world information order (NWIO)." We abstained because NWIO, is an undefined concept, which may summarize non-aligned demands for a better balance. in information flows and capacities, but which may also have suggested to some countries that steps restricting the free flow of information may be taken in order to achieve this balance.
However at the U.N. General Assembly in December, the United States did join in consensus adoption of a new world information order resolution because we had successfully achieved language tying a NWIO to the free flow of information and to practical measures to overcome the communication imbalance. The pertinent operative paragraph reads:
The General Assembly affirms the need to establish a new, more just and more effective world information and communication order, intended to strengthen international peace and understanding and Lased on a free flow and wider and better balanced dissemination of information.
By incorporating the concept of free flow of information, the resolution lays the foundation for both communications development and removal of all restrictions on the free flow of information.
U.S. objectives in UNESCO are:
1. To emphasize that the problems of developing countries can best be solved by increasing their ability to generate and disseminate information, not by strengthening state controls over the mass media or by restricting the flow of information among nations.
2. To build on the consensus we achieved at the November 1978 UNESCO General Conference for protecting the free flow of information and cooperation with the developing countries in realizing their information/communication goals.
3. To support UNESCO studies and technical assistance programs, along with efforts by other advanced countries, multilateral institutions and private sector information industries designed to strengthen the communications capabilities of developing countries.
4. To encourage direct contacts between developed and developing countries' media so that the private sector can assume a larger responsibility for technical and other assistance.
5. To reaffirm the principle of a free flow of information as an essential element of a new, more just and more effective world information and communication order, thus securing Western participation in the definition of a new information order and preempting Third World efforts to exclusively define the goals of communications development.
III. WARC 1979
The 1979 World Administrative Radio Conference (WARC 79) is a technical conference which will have strong political, economic, national security and commercial consequences. It will review and revise as necessary allocation of radio frequencies to different communications services. It will also review, and revise as necessary, procedures for international management of the spectrum. By directly affecting radio frequency allocations and use, WÂRC 79 will influence the overall pattern of United States telecommunications activities, here and abroad, through the end of the century.
WARC 79 will meet in Geneva under ITU auspices in September 1979. In size and complexity WARC 79 will be one of the largest international conferences in which the United States has ever participated. Eleven hundred delegates from over 130 countries are expected to gather for the ten-week session.
It is the first ITU conference in twenty years competent to review and revise the entire international table of radio frequency allocations and related technical criteria and coordination procedures. (Specialized conferences deal frequently with particular service regulations and provisions.) As with previous radio conferences, the product of WARC 79 will be a treaty.
In general terms the agenda for WARC 79 establishes the basis for, among other things:
-New and changed frequency allocations for various services to meet changing needs.
-Revision of technical standards for sharing and use of frequencies.
-Revision of general principles for allocations, orbital utilization and procedures for coordination, notification, registration, and enforcement of frequencies.
PRESENT STATUS OF U.S. WARC POLICY DEVELOPMENT
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has responsibility for assigning frequencies to non-federal government users. It has been formed, chaired by the chairman of the U.S. WARC Delegaings for over four years and issued a Report and Order containing a recommended U.S. position on private sector needs in late 1978. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has responsibility for assignment of freqeuncies to the Federal Government. Together the FCC and NTIA have developed the basic U.S. requirements for public and private sector users. Their
recommendations to the State Department are in general contained in a Report and Order issued by the FCC in December 1978. From this document the Department will draft U.S. proposals reflecting national security, political and economic, as well as technical, considerations.
To ensure coordination in refining U.S. positions, an informal group has been formed, chaired by the chairman of the U.S. WARC Delegation, representing the Secretary of State, and including the Chairman. of the FCC and the Administrator of NTIA. Other agencies participate when issues affecting them are discussed.
On January 6, 1978, Glen O. Robinson, Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, was named Chairman of the U.S. Delegation to the WARC. He reports directly to the Deputy Secretary of State. Professor Robinson will hold the personal rank of ambassador during the Conference.
The delegation is being formed in two major stages. An initial delegation group of twenty persons has been formed with membership drawn from Federal Government agencies active in WARC preparations. This core group will be expanded to include Congressional and non-government members, that is, industry and general public interest advisers. The expansion of the delegation to its final size-presently envisaged at approximately sixty full-time delegates-will occur between now and mid-1979 and will include N/S and area specialists as well.
In order to provide for comprehensive non-governmental participation, a public advisory committee was established in May 1978. Chaired by Glen Robinson, the committee's membership is drawn from industry and the general public. The committee is broken down into five working groups.
Domestic planning coordination
A number of political issues related to WARC 79 are the subject of discussion in other forums. For example, the U.N. Outer Space Committee consideration of whether consent should be obtained by one country before seeking to broadcast by satellite into another country's territory. UNESCO is considering the more general issue of information "dominance" by developed countries vis-a-vis developing countries. The OECD, the Council of Europe, the Nordic Council, and a number of individual countries, are considering regulation of transfer of computer-based personal data across national boundaries. WARC delegation staff members are monitoring and receiving regular reports on these activities, in addition to maintaining informal contacts and regular meetings with appropriate State Department offices and other agencies concerning related foreign affairs matters.
Since 1977 the United States has engaged in extensive international consultations on WARC with a view to explaining emerging U.S. positions for the Conference and obtaining information on foreign
needs and interests. To date, individual consultative meetings have been held with over thirty-five countries in Europe, the Pacific and Asia, South America, Africa and North America. In some cases, several rounds of discussions have been held.
In addition to bilateral discussions, the United States has participated in multilateral discussions in forums such as NATO, CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) and CITEL (Inter-American Telecommunications Conference), an arm of the OAS. The schedule for future consultations in the first half of 1979 includes meetings with officials in Latin America. Africa and Asia as well as Europe.
PROPOSALS AND ISSUES
Low and medium frequencies.-In the low and medium frequency range in general terms we propose expansion of AM broadcasting to accommodate new broadcast stations. Coincident with this expansion, we are proposing a number of other changes in other services such as changes in radio-location and improved accommodation of amateur frequencies.
High frequency.-The United States proposes a significant increase in international broadcasting and maritime services plus some increased accommodation for amateur service.
UHF frequencies. In the UHF band the major thrust of U.S. proposals is to increase allocations for land mobile services to be shared with the broadcast service.
Also noteworthy in this frequency range is a provision for land mobile satellite and also for satellite sound broadcasting. In addition, we propose a variety of other provisions to accommodate increased needs for amateur, maritime mobile services and aeronautical.
SHF and EHF frequencies.-Above the UHF band we have a large variety of different service needs and proposals are being developed to accommodate them.
Also within the fixed satellite service we are proposing very significant change in allocations for both the fixed service and the broadcast satellite service frequencies at 12 GHz.
We also have a very important requirement for a mobile satellite service in 7 and 8 GHz band which we are proposing to meet.
As we move higher in the spectrum the controversy over allocations leads into a general uncertainty as to what is practically important and what is mere speculation. In general, the upper reaches of the spectrum should be far less controversial than the lower, since the technology has yet to demonstrate what is feasible. There are a handful of countries, of which the United States is one, which have the requisite technology to utilize the spectrum at the higher extremes, notably in the EHF range above 30 GHz. We are proposing a num-. ber of specific allocations for advanced or experimental services. Non-allocations issues
One of the most controversial, and most troublesome of all WARC issues centers on notification and coordination procedures.
The United States remains committed to the present system of flexible procedures, although we recognize that there is room for simplification and improvement in the application of these procedures. We are generally opposed to prefixed allotment plans which distribute frequencies to individual countries or regions without regard to present or demonstrated foreseeable need.
Despite our opposition to pre-fixed assignment plans or other proposals to abandon the present system of protection priorities, we do seek to provide reliable assurance to all nations that they can obtain access to the spectrum as and when their requirements develop. A number of concepts which would provide such assurances are being studied.
A detailed evaluation of the relationship of the U.S. position to that of other countries. will not be possible until after January, when their proposals will be filed with the ITU.
The primary United States interest is to insure that necessary changes in ITU regulations governing allocation and use of the radio spectrum are made in the light of evolving U.S. economic, social and technical needs. Overall U.S. policy emphasizes:
-Support of the ITU. The United States regards the organization, despite its imperfections, as the best long-term means of maintaining order in international telecommunications. -Incremental change. The United States does not believe its requirements or those of other nations, call for radical or wholesale changes in spectrum allocations or procedures. We seek many changes, but all are incremental changes as are required by present needs, and those that are reasonably foreseeable over the next twenty years.
-Flexibility. Closely tied to the policy of minimal change is the need for flexible management procedures regarding frequency allocations and regulatory controls.
-Accommodation of the needs of other nations. Consistent with our own essential requirements, the United States seeks accommodation of the needs of other developed and developing countries. In our view the WARC must, and can, achieve a broad consensus among different nations by adhering to flexible procedures and a spirit of international accord on technical requirements.
IV. DIRECT BROADCAST TV SATELLITE (DBS)
Point-to-point television has been transmitted via satellite for over fifteen years. This arrangement entails a program being carried by conventional means to a sending earth station, then via satellite to a receiving earth station, and finally by conventional means to over-theair broadcasting stations for dissemination to home receivers.