Below is text from one section of Douglas Galbi’s paper, “Revolutionary Ideas for Radio Regulation.”  For other sections, see or


V. What To Do?


Regulations long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.  For many years, a large area of radio regulation has developed based on a consensus that it predominately concerns technical aspects of radio signal interference.  Few persons are able to contribute to deliberations thus organized.  Yet centuries of conversation and experience have explored, in ways deeply relevant to everyone, the meaning of interference and freedom.  Now interactive, broadband and ubiquitous communications, which undoubtedly will depend heavily on radio, are expected to reshape personal activities and relationships.  Radio regulation should no longer be a field ruled by a reason inaccessible to most persons.  Now is the time for radio regulation to recognize, as most persons do, revolutionary ideas about government, persons, and freedom.


What is one to be doing?  Discuss the separation and balance of powers in radio regulation.  Discuss the geography of governance in radio regulation.  Discuss what freedom and equality mean for radio regulation. This paper provides much relevant, field-specific information and many references.  More important is to call forth more vividly true lessons from the collective memory of humanity.  Persons and groups always face the risk of forgetting, or remembering but separating thought from life.  Everyone around the world can help show each other what there is to see.


Persons outside Western Europe and North America offer much hope.  Just as a person might come to take for granted how beautiful her or his most dear one is, those closest to the revolutionary ideas discussed here are most likely to forget them.  Especially if it seems easier to do so.  One can imagine, decades from now, missionaries from Africa and Asia bringing back to life throughout Western Europe an offer of living Christianity.  Neither Western Europe nor the U.S. should have to wait that long for the ideas needed to reform radio regulation. 


Western Europe, North America, and other high income regions could benefit from looking outward.  The Islamic world’s emerging struggle with the meaning of freedom and authority is directly relevant to discussions that need to take place about radio regulation.  Persons in Central and Eastern Europe have broad experience of the type of regulatory transition that most countries now face in the field of radio regulation. Revolutionary changes in radio regulation in Guatemala already offer insights that might be hugely beneficial. 


Most importantly, Western Europe, North American, and other high-income regions should look outward to recognize the good of others.  Even without any new developments in radio, the material conditions of life in high-income countries are, for the most part, sweet and easy.  That is not the case for about three-quarters of the world’s population.  Persons in low and middle income countries desperately need better communications capabilities.  As the President of Uganda has forcefully declared, Africa can work itself out of poverty under the right conditions.[1]  Shrewd leaders in Africa and in low-income countries elsewhere might choose radically more liberal policies for radio regulation than those currently in place in high-income countries.[2]  High-income countries foregoing such policies should at least ensure that they do not prevent international capital, the international radio equipment industry, and international radio regulations from responding to support enormously important choices that low-income countries might make.[3]


[1] See Yoweri Museveni, “How America Can Help Africa,” Wall Street Journal, Commentary, May 24, 2002.

[2] Ibargen (2001) points out (p. 19): “Many wealthy countries in the West may waste many [radio resources] with no apparent impact on their economies.” In other words, the West may be able to afford not to reform.  The situation is different in poor countries.

[3] Malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS are inflicting tremendous suffering in Africa.  Culturally appropriate, personal communications, which depend on widespread dispersal of two-way communications capabilities, are critical for incarnating across the population knowledge about the causes and means of prevention of these diseases.  Providing money and skills, in a mode of service rather than domination, would also help.  See Jeffrey Sachs, “Bononomics Rocks,” Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2002 and William Easterly, “Tired Old Mantras at Monterrey,” Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2002.