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Ireland, broadcasting and the spectrum wars

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This article offers an overview and evaluation of Ireland’s changing media landscape through the prism of the recent policy contestation surrounding the future use of the UHF spectrum and its implications for the medium of television broadcasting. The article brings into focus current policy and governance developments and their interplay with market and technological change and how they are shaping a small open European state’s adaptation to the increasingly complex national/global hybrid media ecosystem. It examines the contexts surrounding the competition for spectrum resources and its implications for the role of free-to-air broadcasting and mobile broadband technologies in the future delivery of media and communication services. It takes a political economy and institutionalist perspective to evaluate the extent to which the evolution of the Irish institutional framework regarding broadcasting and broadband development and the allocation of spectrum frequencies is shaped by broader political economic and political/institutional dynamics and what this means for the remediation of broadcasting within the evolving digital media ecology.
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Keywords: DTT; UHF spectrum; broadcasting; mobile broadband; policy; public service media

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Technological University Dublin

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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  • The Journal of Digital Media and Policy (formerly known asĀ International Journal of Digital Television) aims to analyse and explain the socio-cultural, political, economic and technological questions surrounding digital media and address the policy issues facing regulators globally. This double-blind-peer-reviewed journal brings together and shares the work of academics, policy-makers and practitioners, offering lessons from one another's experience. Content is broad and varied, ranging from a mixture of critical work on technology, industry and regulatory convergence, to the emerging wider socio-cultural and political questions such as the application of online networks, the rise of cloud computing and the Internet of Things. We intend to examine critically emerging wider questions such as the role of 'digital citizens', the regulatory environment for the new platform industry and the role of state regulation in an increasingly global media industry.
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