Sunday, July 04, 2004

End of Dutch Domestic Public Broadcasting in Sight - The Endless Ether

The Endless Ether is a Dutch language report which has been causing a bit of stir here in Holland, since it links the explosion of new technology, especially fast-broadband, to the demise of public broadcasting in the Netherlands. Reading the report on line, I think some of the predictions are a bit optimistic - In my experience Dutch entrpreneurs are not as good at taking any form of risk as would be needed. But, in general, the writers are definitely on the right lines. The authors are Frank Biesboer, Herbert Blankesteijn and Christian Jongeneel. I am sure it was Herbert who edited out the IT mumbo jumbo and succeeded in explaining modern technology in a very clear way.

(from page 98) :Regulation of the current public broadcasting system is based on scarcity. There are only a few transmitters offering national coverage and locally there is only room for one broadcaster that has to be given space on the cable. Without a transmission licence, you cannot be a "broadcaster".

Once the endless ether is a reality, all this form of regulation becomes out of date and impossible to enforce. The current Dutch media law doesn't even recognise that webradio and videostation exist! And there is no way they will allow themselves to be a regulated by some government ministry. .

So if you speak the language, or want to try, I recommend you download the PDF file
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