Spectrum Sovereignty? Maori Treaty Rights to 4G Debated in New Zealand
Here’s a debate that opens all sorts of canned worms about what might be rightly considered the sovereign territory of Indigenous peoples.
So far, these applications of Maori treaty rights to 4G do not seem to have gotten much of a hearing by New Zealand government and industry.
Apparently, while industry reports indicate that “carriers and governing standards bodies have not agreed upon exactly what 4G will be,” its use of available radio spectrum is expected to provide “users with cable-modem transmission speeds which will support high-quality streaming video.”
Multi-billion dollar spectrum auctions in other countries reveal that 4G is big business. So perhaps it’s no wonder Indigenous peoples finally want a piece of the action that’s been taking place in their airspace for some time now. Better late than never, I suppose. In fact, this follows up on an unsuccessful attempt to secure the same rights for 3G, writes SPASIFIK.
I wonder: will the day soon come when North American first peoples seek their share of this lucrative resource running through their aerial territories?
UPDATE: Turns out some First Nations already have entertained the idea.
A 2007 report by CBC said the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs “resolved to negotiate revenue sharing with [Manitoba Telecom Services]” for any transmission signal crossing First Nations’ land, water and air space. As Chief Ovide Mercredi of the Grand Rapids First Nation put it:
When it comes to using airspace, it’s like using our water, and simply because there’s no precedent doesn’t mean that it’s not the right thing to do.
It’s been three years: what’s happened since? Looking into it, but I’d gladly accept help if you know something.