Technological and regulatory developments in broadcasting: An overview

Colin Rowat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Introduction I coined the word cyberspace in 1981 … At the time, I didn't have a very clear idea of what I was going to try to make it mean … Actually I think it was probably more fun for me when I was still able to look at it and wonder what it meant … When I started writing … the absolute top of the line professional writing machine in the world was an IBM Selectric with a couple of type balls, and that's what everybody aspired to. But I could never have afforded one of those things. Today those things are like landfill. Literally. I've seen fifty working Selectrics piled up like dead cockroaches in the back of a university clearance warehouse. (Gibson, 1996) William Gibson's achievement – discovering cyberspace from a 1933 typewriter while dreaming of a Selectric – is nothing more than that constantly required of those regulating communications today. When a sexually explicit film made on a mobile phone in Delhi is sold over the Indian subsidiary of eBay and burned onto CDs around the world, who is responsible for its regulation and what standards should they apply? And this is an easy question: we can describe it; it involves technology already in existence. Regulators have always faced the problem of regulating for a future that does not yet exist, but that future is upon them much more quickly than it has been in the past.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Economic Regulation of Broadcasting Markets
Subtitle of host publicationEvolving Technology and the Challenges for Policy
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9780511611124
ISBN (Print)9780521874052
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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