understanding + managing technical + social change
In the US, and now here, the generous government allocation of wireless (broadcast spectrum) bandwidth enjoyed by broadcast tv networks is up for auction. Now mobile phone and media companies need these high-quality, long-distance signals the older, stronger frequencies deliver.
And they pay well for it. But if they or aspiring internet or media providers can't get the bandwidth at auction, they buy the station, e.g. Channel 10. It's that important.
Recent high prices paid by internet providers such as TPG for wireless spectrum in Australia follow this logic. The bandwidth purchased provides high speed wireless internet access to circumvent the non-wireless NBN and its customers. As tv networks slowly shrivel and die, wireless (mobile) provider networks thrive and grow.
Our social networks were once solely provided by family, the 'village', religion, and government. Now facebook increasingly takes up this role in exchange for information about your habits, sold widely to third parties.
TV networks sell 'eyeballs' (read minds) to the advertiser, and in exchange you 'invite and allow' the advertiser 'into your lounge room' and a small - and defined - part of your personal world.
Today, we invite internet-based social networks into the very fabric of your personal lives, not just when we use a service, but with a pervasive, penetrating, and persistent social connection and management. Perhaps we need more than a just few webpages, a messaging app, and sometimes dodgy news stories in exchange for such valuable social capital?