>> CARLOS AFONSO: Welcome. We need to get started.
We will have nine short speeches and we will open them for discussion. And the Moderator of our session is Maximiliano Martinao, who will do a short introduction, from the Ministry of Communications of Brazil. He is a specialist in the wireless technology. So he is the appropriate guy to moderate this thing here. So over to him now.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Thank you, Carlos. Good morning to everyone.
It's a pleasure to be here, and I thank you for the invitation.
I used to be a national spectrum manager here in Brazil. And from my experience, it's a job that has some difficulties, but I understand that spectrum is an important tool to deal with. One of the concerns of this IGF, that is connecting the next billion. I believe spectrum can play an important role in helping us to find intelligent ways of connecting the next billion people with the Internet.
Today we see a lot of different and interesting ways to use spectrum and have people connected to the Internet. We can have, of course, the mobile networks. Here in Brazil we have over 200 million access to the Internet that is done by mobile networks.
But still, even though we have a huge penetration of mobile network -- mobile access in Brazil, we have half of the population without Internet access, even though we have this huge number of mobile broadband systems users.
And we see other technology, such as satellites, and we used to consider the use of spectrum with satellites, but now we see a lower satellites, more and more known as geosatellites, orbits, being planned for providing broadband services. We see HAPS, that is the High Altitude Platform Services. We have see UAVs, on manning the aircrafts, and we see balloons. Okay, let's launch a balloon and a balloon will have a transmitter that will provide Internet for the people. And this all takes like -- puts pressure in the use of spectrum.
And in order to have all the system working well, one word that we apply here in Brazil, and it's reading our law and our telecommunication law, is the efficient use of radio spectrum. And here in Brazil we have a Regulation on that. We try to look at those systems that are using the radio spectrum and see if they are using the spectrum efficiently. We have a kind of map that we use to define if a system is using the system efficiently or not.
But nevertheless, even with that, here in Brazil, if you look at the mobile spectrum, we have in 50 percent of our cities only a small percentage of spectrum is being used. So there is still blank in the spectrum. So in 50 percent of the cities, only 50 percent of the spectrum that is allocated for mobile is being used.
And this brings to me attention to one technology that is quite interesting, that is called cognitive radios and white space, that brings opportunities to more efficient use of the spectrum. And let's imagine technology that could automatically and dynamically identify radio frequencies that are available, not used. Transmitting it without interfering with other services, other radiocommunication services. From my experience, that would be a dream. And that would Democratize the use of spectrum. It would make it easier for companies and people to use the spectrum, and in our case to provide one of the priorities, that is the Internet access.
This technology is not new. The system is not new. I've been following this technology, white space radio technologies, since 2007. And even in 2010 I've been to the United States. I was in the United States in 2010, looking into this technology. And recently I received a colleague that participated in a trip to the United States to deal with this technology, and I asked him, okay, we discussed white space cognitive radio in 2010. We are five years later, after that, so what happened to this technology? How can I say that? It's still very, very -- not many things were done in this area. So they still need to progress in the technology in order to have it be used.
So today our dialog will deal with the use of the spectrums. So I think what is important for us in our discussion is to answer some questions such: As are there new technologies that can provide more efficient and equitable use of the spectrum?
The existing spectrum that is being used, is it being used efficiently?
What are the opportunities and challenges for the use of the spectrum, particularly on the transition from analog to digital of the TV?
And how the regulatory process might help and stimulate the spectrum used by local entrepreneur, the communities, and the local Governments.
So these would be the questions that I would like for us to start our conversation. And the first one to start, I invite to start, is Catherine Middleton.
>> CATHERINE MIDDLETON: Good. Thank you. So I'll give a Canadian example. I want to thank Carlos and CGI Brazil for bringing us here.
I want to talk about the possibility for innovation through TV white spaces and the reality in Canada that really nothing has happened yet, consistent with what you just said.
What we see is the Canadian market, just to give you a context, it's a developed market, mature mobile market. We have good quality mobile. 93 percent coverage of LTE, fourth generation mobile. There are three dominant mobile carriers. But our mobile broadband uptake is really low. So when people look at the numbers of the statistics, they are surprised of that number. We lag Brazil, Australia, UK, U.S., and many other countries but it's lower than you would expect. And we have the most expensive broadband in the OEDC -- most expensive mobile broadband. That is looking specifically at stand-alone service for two gigs of data. We have the most expensive quadruple play services. So there is a country where it's good quality service but there is not as much competition as there might be. So in many ways, it's a market that is ripe for any -- for some jolt to the system, some form of competition that is going to come from outside the existing mobile ecosystem. And ideally that should be something that development of TV white spaces could provide. But we're not seeing that yet.
We do see increasingly that when you look at what Canadians do on their mobile devices, we are moving to over-the-top services, as is true in most places. So much of what you get when you buy a package from a mobile carrier, you don't use. You are not using the SMS anymore or not as much or the voice services. So there is really this question how could we provide a service that meets the needs for many, many Canadians, that is based on a data service, and that ideally would come from a different -- perhaps a different business model than what we're seeing at the moment? That said, at present, only 3 percent of the revenue in the mobile sector is coming from stand-alone data services. So there is very little provision of access to mobile broadband that is done only as a mobile broadband service. So it does seem like there are real opportunities for different approaches.
Our Government, the Canadian Federal Government, has been trying since 2007 to increase competition in the wireless market. In 2007, they did say that the first step was to try to bring in new wireless carriers. There was an auction of spectrum in 2008, where this was a significant portion of that spectrum set aside for new entrants. We did see a number of new entrants buy spectrum in that auction in 2008. But fast forward to 2014, and those new providers have actually had very little traction in the market. They have not really been able to get customers on to their services. Although they have got now 64 percent of the Canadian population has the possibility of moving to a new provider, they haven't done so. Only 6 percent of the Canadian market has actually moved on to the alternative provider, and that is in the licensed spectrum realm. So it's difficult to get people to move out of the existing ecosystem.
So if we look at -- so that is the standard mobile telephone operator system. If we look at television white spaces, so in 2011 the Canadian Government launched a consultation on television white spaces. In 2012 they issued the framework. At the time, they said access to spectrum was identified as one of the challenges facing CANDA. They said CANDA is working on this progress.
So they have said there was progress since 2012 by putting a program into place. But the reality is if you come fast forward to 2015, we don't actually have anything that is being launched as yet. There is not a database available so it's not yet possible for any operator or anybody to come along and launch in service in that space.
So just to think about this as a very, very brief case study, what we have got is a market where I think there really is demand for alternatives, where we have had very high prices, we haven't had much competition, where television white spaces are seen as a potential solution to this. When you go back and look at documents, they talk extensively about the potential value, the innovation, the opportunity for communities and others to be involved just as we have been talking about and we will talk about in the panel, but the reality is that we're not there yet.
So just to conclude, one of the questions that I hope we will engage with, what can we do to move things along? What can we do to encourage the speeding up of the regulatory process? But also once we are there, how can we get the consumers to move on to these services? And I'll stop there.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Thank you very much. Interesting, your point.
And now we move to Mr. Belisario.
>> ADRIANO BELISARIO: It's a great pleasure for me to be here, because I've been studying technical aspects of the spectrum usage, but I'm far from being an expert in this subject. As we know, there are many different positions regarding the spectrum in Civil Society, so I'll not try to represent Civil Society. I'll just try to present some ideas about some questions raised by this workshop.
And despite it's still praised as a horizontal media, we know that the Internet has a big concentration of economic and political power in the hands of a few companies and Governments. So I think that one big person to ask here is how to connect to the next billion. And on one hand, we have companies like Google, trying to – these are quotes from the Google spectrum website, "Make more spectrum available for broadband Internet access." On the other hand, we can mention things like the Baonaxia network of Rede Mocambos from Brazil, which are creating digital networks independent from the Internet, but synchronizable with it.
But beyond these two sides, I think that it's also important to remember that this digital convergence doesn't mean replace all the medias for the Internet. I think it's a mistake, to concentrate all the efforts to develop a more Democratic media just on the Internet, ignoring the struggle for democratizing broadcast communication or other spectrum users.
In this way, the opportunities arising from digitalization of radio and TV transmissions must include the democratization of these medias, making the technical possibility to transmit by hypermedia applications and the availability of more channels a political opportunity to the Civil Society.
So we know that the Internet is based on protocols and technologies, and when it was created it was impossible to predict the platforms and applications that are running over it today. So thinking about the emergence of cognitive radio and thinking about the spectrum used by Civil Society, maybe now we are in a similar moment. Currently, we don't know what technologies and devices can arise in the next decades from approaches based on software defined radio, but it's an important historical test to start the process of spectrum privatization and to have technological and institutional protocols that ensures a free spectrum.
So when we talk about "free spectrum," we are also dealing with challenges concerning the use of this resource to broadcast emissions or comunitary mobile phone networks, too, not only to provide Internet access.
And another example of new possibilities of spectrum uses is a Finnish initiative called Kryptoradio, which uses digital video broadcasting to transmit the blockchain of bitcoin transactions. As one bitcoin developers said, quoting him, "alternative blockchains transports are critical to the success and survivability of the Bitcom system." So they are also thinking of spectrum beyond the Internet.
And at first glance, one common mistake around this concept of “free Spectrum” is grasping this idea as deregulamentation, when it is precisely the opposite. The Free Spectrum advocacy is a struggle for another regulamentation, based on spectrum sharing in the Civil Society role.
The ISM bands are too small for us. We want frequency bands for licensing and noncommercial use in all parts of the radio spectrum used for telecommunications. For too much time, the Civil Society's protagonism on autonomous usage of spectrum survived only thanks to initiatives of free communitary radios and TV and amateur radio operators. But now with the proliferation of wireless technologies and the possibilities created by the digital radio and digital TV, things have changed. In a brief article about open spectrum, Aaron Swartz criticized the paradigm based on the scarcity of the spectrum. He pointed to the idea of a radio Internet, which is something completely different from providing Internet access via radio. He said, and I will quote him, "On the Internet, you don't need anyone's permission to talk, you just need an Internet connection. The same is true with this radio Internet, you just start sending your messages to your neighbors, and they pass them on. We need to define the tools for a cooperative radio Internet. Just as Internet protocol built various networks together into the Internet, we need the same tools that will bring the various spectrum bands into a radio Internet."
Despite this, the idea of open spectrum sometimes, sometimes rely on mercadological approaches that look for this resource only as a business opportunity. And the idea here is that the development of new technologies makes this spectrum management by the State inefficient. One of the main supporters of open spectrum, Professor Eli Noam, claims that "It will not be long, historically speaking, before spectrum auctions may become technologically obsolete, economically inefficient and legally unconstitutional.”inaudible) "His suggestion is to deal with the spectrum as an His suggestion is to deal wih spectrum as an open resource, not free, he emphasized it. Without exclusive private property, all the frequencies could be used by everyone at any time.
In this scenario, algorithms would determine the prices for it, based on the demand for each frequency. Here, the concept of open at open spectrum is similar to open markets. They main idea of Eli Noam is precisely “Bring the invisible hands to the invisible resource."
Obviously what open spectrum refers to is a wide range of different notions about spectrum management, and some of them can share some assumptions with the concept of free spectrum, such as the question about the spectrum scarcity. They also can highlight the benefits of spectrum unlicensed use for technical innovation and the democratization of communication. However, even that they look similar, I think that there is some fundamental differences in these different approaches that deserve our attention.
Recovering the classical definition of free software, free spectrum refers to free as in freedom of speech, not as in free markets. In fact, the unlicensed and noncommercial use of spectrum is a crucial challenge for the freedom of speech in our cenruty.
That's it. Thanks.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Thank you, Adriano. Interesting point that you raise about the sparcity or not of the spectrum and also the way that spectrum is authorized for someone. So the point that you raise about options is also interesting.
So let's move to Steve. So Steve, please.
>> STEVE SONG: I'm with the Policy Startup Center and I run a social enterprise called Village Telco, which manufactures low cost devices for voice and data.
I want to tell you three things. Psychologists say you can only get people to remember three things in any talk. So the first one is acknowledging that we have a problem. There is a huge problem in spectrum management in terms of access right now. And I want to illustrate that. All of my experience is in sub0Saharan Africa, so I'll draw on those examples.
In 2006 they engaged in the digital switchover. So the switch from analog to digital. And it was expected that that process would be complete by last year. And actually no, it was earlier this year, June 2015.
And I think it's worth considering all of the things that didn't exist in 2006. The smartphone had not been invented. The tablet had not been invented. Broadband as we know it now largely did not exist. Interestingly, Netflix, which I think you are familiar with, did exist, but their media delivery service was the U.S. Postal Service. So that decision was taken in a world that almost seems alien to us now in terms of technological access.
And indeed in Africa we see many switchover processes in crises that are recognized that it's likely that the investments made in digital will not be recouped in terms of the revenue derived from the networks, and we see the launch of other services that will take over.
So in terms of managing a chunk of spectrum, in this case between 350 and 800 MegaHertz, we have a process that is simply inadequate to the task. And also, as demand has increased for spectrum, what people are willing to pay for it has gone up dramatically. I think the, you know, spectrum options we see recently in India, something like 17 or 18 billion dollars just for the right to participate in that market. And that reminded me, as I was reading an article about Uber in New York City, I was reminded of the taxi industry in New York City.
And this brings me to my second point which I wanted to emphasize, is that software is going to eat this problem. And I want to illustrate it with the -- by talking about the taxi industry. So in New York City, as the taxis evolved as an economic force in New York, the City of New York created a Commission that gave licenses called a Medallion for taxis to operate in New York City. Over time, as they became more lucrative, the demand for those licenses went up. Until as little as just a few years ago, a Medallion to operate a taxi in New York City was about a half a million dollars.
And I think we all know that Uber has sort of radically changed that market to the point where taxi medallions, which are in many ways similar to a spectrum license, that create a scarcity in the market, was overturned in a matter of two years, really, by Uber. And I think it doesn't really matter how you feel about Uber, you know, in that I think we can all recognize that there have been huge efficiencies brought by bringing software to the management of taxis. That at the same time there are significant down sides, social and economic down sides that we haven't figured out how to deal with in terms of income stability, in terms of how you treat workers in the so-called shared economy.
And the point I want to make sure is software is coming for spectrum management. You can either wait for it to be Uberized, or as a Regulator you can seek to manage the process and to do it in a way where we maximize the benefits of software coming to solve this problem, not solve it, but to change it and hopefully make it a great deal more efficient.
The last point I want to make is the reason why this is important particularly in sub-Saharan Africa is there is the arrival of fiber. As undersea cables came to the shores of sub-Saharan African countries, a sparking in infrastructure and now metropolitan fiber networks. Historically, in order to build a network you had to be responsible for the massive investment that included International backhaul, building national backhaul networks and the last mile. It was an investment involving billions of dollars. Now with the fiber networks, we have the possibility for small entrepreneurs to use unlicensed spectrum and other forms of spectrum management that we haven't invented yet. But we need a regime that is going to enable both entrepreneurs and communities to solve their own access problem, because that possibility exists now.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Thank you, Steve.
We had a presentation from the representative of Academy, Civil Society, private Sector. And now we move for a regulator. So you have the floor.
>> RODRIGO ZERBONE: Thank you, Max. I'm Rodrigo. Zerbone from Anatel here in Brazil. And I would like to say that Brazil is currently in the final stage of the switchover. We begin this year with a pilot city, Uverger, and we are expecting to end this process in 2018.
The analog switch off really is of course the spectrum of the 700 MegaHertz band for use in mobile broadband services. And the Telecom spectrum auction in 2014 and four mobile service providers have secured blocks of frequencies to provide services in 700 MegaHertz. These frequencies will only be available of course after the switch off. Due to the excellent propagation characteristics in this band, extended coverage can be achieved by broadband service providers.
As a result, there will be significant growth in broadband coverage and capacity in Brazil. We are expecting this. This of course is like -- lists licensed use of UHF spectrum.
But additionally, there is of course this, we are discussing it, this potential for unlicensed use of UHF spectrum. The recent advances in white space technology have allowed the development of equipment and devices and the widespread of the availability of colocation for services.
Currently, the Minister of Communication and Anatel are participating together in areas in order to develop different access of the TV white space technology. Anatel granted a license for experimental use of a percentage of the UHF frequency band in order to become a viable experimenter.
Additionally, Anatel has recently, which is very important for the development of this market in Brazil, has recently deployed a new spectrum management system and database that contains all relevant information for planning, licensing, and monitoring spectrum users in Brazil by Telecom operators and broadcasters. This is the -- the system is fully operational and provides information on existing infrastructure and the spectrum use. Of course, this will give a good level of protection, too, for the primary use and provide a level of information that is very important to develop white spaces operation here in Brazil.
Finally, Anatel is currently in the process of updating the existing Regulation on radio frequency spectrum use. It's Resolution of Anatel. A station was conducted in 2014 and the proposed new Regulation is under review by the technical areas at Anatel. A decision by the board of Anatel is expected for early 2016.
All these elements that we will show some for you are aimed to achieve the barriers of spectrum. Of course, we are expecting that Civil Society and operators can bring us some other inputs.
In radio frequency bands that have been allocated to a primary use, there will be the possibility of allocating the same band with some protection for the use of -- for the secondary use. This will be the case when the primary use has not initiated services within a predetermined time period.
A user who has been granted radio frequency bands for the provision of one's services is entitled to request to provide any other services to reach that band that has been allocated.
Clarifications on the distinction between cases in which there is a requirement for a previous request from interested buyers before a frequency band is granted to give user and cases in which there is no such requirements. Provisions for mentioned markets commercial agreements of spectrum used between the telecommunication providers, for example, includes sharing and roaming. Of course, all of it, it's under public consultation. And we are happy to have some more inputs to have the various use of spectrum.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Thank you, Mr. Zerbone.
Now we have another regulator. We have a video from the FCC to be presented for us.
>> ROBERT NELSON: Good day. My name is Robert Nelson. I'm sorry I couldn't be with you today. However, thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today on the possibilities brought forth by the digital divident.
I first want to indicate through our usual disclaimer that my comments don't necessarily represent the views of the Commission. But I do want to give you an idea of the direction the Commission may be going in these areas.
First, I would like to provide some insight into how the FCC has been progressing in regard to the digital dividend. This chart shows all of the TV channels that existed in the United States as late as June 2009.
The UHF spectrum in the US was channels 14 through 69, or 470 to 806 MegaHertz. In 2009, it had analog TV as well as transitional DT/V stations. You'll note that I divided the spectrum into three rows. The top row are channels 14 through 29, which are likely at this time to maintain TV broadcast.
The bottom row are channels that after the original transition have become R700 MegaHertz wireless band with commercial and public safety use.
The middle row is our next step in consolidation involving our incentive auction. Depending on the outcome of the auction, these channels may be used for either wireless or broadcast. Please note that channel 37 is reserved for radio astronomy and medical devices in the United States.
I will now go into detail on 700 MegaHertz and the incentive auction.
First, the original DT/V transition freed up 108 MegaHertz of spectrum. Congress gave us direction on its intent for allocation in the band, and a portion of the spectrum was designated for public safety use.
In the commercial blocks, 74 MegaHertz was assigned through our auction authority. This brought in 19 billion U.S. Dollars. Since that time, those commercial carriers have used this spectrum in their development of LTE. And, it's one of the reasons we have such widespread provision of LTE in the United States today. The public safety spectrum included a portion that was designated for a broadband nationwide network, which we call first net. In addition, we authorized the use of white spaces devices on those TV channels that would not cause interference to local broadcasters.
This chart should provide you with an idea of the companies who are currently licensed and using the 700 MegaHertz spectrum. Once the broadcasters have cleared this spectrum as a result of the transition, it was pretty much a green field for the wireless entities to build out on. This allowed for rapid deployment of 4G services by those carriers.
The band plan we used is the North American band plan and 3GPP has designations for those bands. Bands 12, 13, 14 and 17, for those of you familiar with band designations.
The first net public safety band is also a 3GPP designated band 14. We have in this band, narrow band public safety channels which are utilized by local first responders. The first channel comprises about two-thirds of the designated spectrum for public safety.
After completion of the 700 MegaHertz transition, it became clear that more was necessary for broadband. The Commission issued a national broadband plan which you can find at www.broadband.Gov, calling for an additional 500 MegaHertz of spectrum over the next ten years. Congress also authorized the Commission in 2012 Spectrum Act to hold incentive auctions, including with the TV broadcast bands. An incentive auction offers the broadcaster the opportunity to turn in their license or move to VHF for compensation. I would point out that participation in the auction is voluntary. If a broadcaster does not wish to participate, it does not have to, and it's up for the FCC to find a place for that station, when we, and I'll use a term that we use, when we "Repack" the spectrum.
As I mentioned participation is voluntary. The process has two major steps. A backward auction where the broadcaster offers to go off the air or move to VHF at a price. And a standard forward option where the wireless company purchases the spectrum for wireless use. The total amount offered by the wireless entities must exceed the total offer price by the broadcasters for the auction to close. The offered value of the spectrum may change depending on the need for the TV station spectrum or the need for the wireless entity. Thus the part marketplace means of spectrum repurposing. If we have a surplus or TV stations or not enough money is being offered by the wireless entities, then the broadcasters may be offered a lower price which they don't have to accept. The band plan may be reduced, and then we continue the process. The process continues until the proceeds exceed the reverse auction payments.
Again, we have several goals in the auction, which include preserving broadcast service for the nonparticipants, making sure that we meet Congress's objectives, and that proceeds exceed reverse auction payments. Also, that we have created a launch pad for new wireless networks.
This is a unique opportunity for broadcasters, as it offers them the possibility of some very good returns. It also allows us the ability to gain some valuable wireless spectrum.
Now, I noted that the resulting spectrum allocation depends on the results of the auction in primarily participation. The band plans here are possible outcomes of the auction if there is very high participation. There could be up to 126 MegaHertz of spectrum for wireless coming out of the auction. If market forces result in a smaller plan, they are also shown here. I would point out that guard bands will likely be used for such things as unlicensed devices, and we will continue to allow white spaces devices where possible. We will continue to set aside the former channel 37 for radio astronomy and medical devices.
As I speak with you today, we currently have staff at the World Radio Conference in Geneva looking at additional bands for mobile broadband. Our position is flexible utilization of the UHF band. This means that we believe that if countries wish to maintain their current use of these bands, they should be able to do so. However, if countries wish to advance mobile broadband in these areas, the opportunity should be provided consistent with their domestic priorities.
I hope my presentation has provided you with some insight into the direction we are heading here in the United States. And provide some fuel for your upcoming discussions.
At this time, I would like to put in an advertisement for our International visitors program. If you would like to get some information on it, the contact information is provided here. Also, my contact information as well.
All the best. And thank you for your time today.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Okay.
Okay. It's a video with a lot of information so we can use it in our debate.
And later, now I'll move Gregory Taylor.
>> GREGORY TAYLOR: I do have a PowerPoint presentation. Thank you very much.
This is a good time to follow the United States when talking about band plan issues, because that's largely what Canada does. So for today I want to look at a unique initiative in Canada right now that has to do with white space development. And I'm not sure where exactly I'm to point this. Do I point it that way to change the... I'm trying to go forward.
There? I'm not sure. But okay. I'm going to keep talking anyway. Since we're on a -- sorry, which did you press? Yes, that's what I did. It didn't move -- there we go.
Okay. So remote rural broadband is something that has developed in Canada within the last few years. I'm going to be taking a look at why this is necessary, what it is, and basically the success or lack thereof thus far in Canada.
Like Brazil, Canada has a history of trying to reach out to the rural areas. For Canada, much like Brazil, it's a large country. There is always with every new development in technology, there is the struggle of how do we get to the rural areas? And not as much the small communities, but the small rural areas of Canada.
I'll not go through all of these different moments of the last ten years, except to say Canada has had about 10 to 12 Federal initiatives to try to bring broadband to rural parts of the country. It's gone over ten years, the most recent being the launched Canada digital 150, a 25-page document that was about connecting Canadians around the country and exploiting economic opportunities. The key platform of that was connecting rural Canada. So this remains a major issue for Canadians.
Canadians living in large centers have access to broadband speeds of about 50 megabits per second and up to 99 megabits per second, but only 25 percent of Canadians in rural areas can access these speeds.
This chart is from our regulator, the Canadian Radio Television Communication Commission. If you look up there, the grayish color notes that when you are starting up at slow speeds, rural Canada is almost as strong as urban centers in Canada. And then it drops very quickly as you move up into the higher speeds. The column on the right being rural Canada. As the speeds go up, rural Canada drops off extremely quickly. So this is a problem; not that there is no broadband, but it's the quality of broadband that is available in some of these areas.
So Canada came up with a policy called Remote Rural Broadband Systems, and this had a long gestation period. But the formal announcement came in 2011. It's a fixed wireless station that offers fixed service and operates in the 512 to 608 MegaHertz and 614 to 698 MegaHertz bands. This was recognizing that Canada was going through the digital television transition, 700 MegaHertz was not going to be offered because it went to licensed providers.
RRBS is what is called a secondary service. It must not cause interference. There is no protection given to these licenses. And licenses are renewed annually. So the licenses are distributed on a first come, first-served basis. They are using the television white space in rural areas where Canada does not have a strong over-the-air television presence. That is most of Canada. Over-the-air television in Canada is not widely used. It's used by approximately 10 percent of the population. And when you get into rural parts of Canada, the range in the 600 MegaHertz set aside for over-the-air television is largely vacant. So this spectrum sits unused in most parts of Canada. So this was a Federal Government initiative to try to bring some development, some use to this really prime part of the spectrum in Canada.
So as far as defining it, it's -- what is rural? Well, a hundred thousand people living within a 50 kilometer radius. The was a big issue when deciding who could benefit from this service. How do you define rural? Small communities in Canada are generally able to get wired service; the rural areas less so. So part of the problem was defining "rural."
So why is it necessary? Well, Canada lags behind in urban centers and high-speed deployment. Fixed -- what is it? It's TV white space, secondary to broadcasting, and licensed annually.
Now to take a look at where it is, this is a map outlining where remote rural broadband systems were that existed in Canada in 2014. You can see they are mostly in the west. Also, they are mostly near the northern parts and near areas where there are obviously very small population centers. We are really in the beginning of trying to figure out the next part, which is that a year later, and this is a year later, and 40 percent -- this is 2015 now. 40 percent of the remote rural broadband systems had ceased to operate. So something happened in the early stage of offering this new system where 40 percent of the providers stopped providing service. And we believe that most of it can be attributed to the fact that right now they're looking to reassess and re-- to reassess the 600 MegaHertz band in Canada, and this is precisely because of what is happening in the United States, as Robert Nelson just said to us. They are reprogramming or resetting the 600 MegaHertz. Canada is now waiting to see what is happening in the United States. And in doing so, they have frozen any new licenses for remote rural broadband in Canada, and they cannot modify or grow their systems at all. Right now there is a freeze. It's hurt the industry, and right now 40 percent of the brand new industry stopped providing service.
I'm not going to read through all of these. That is just saying what it is, that they have no protection, that it's repurposed 600 MegaHertz spectrum. And in the end Canada has to follow what happens in the US 600 MegaHertz plan. To say that it's a North American band plan on the 700 MegaHertz isn't quite true. Canada follows along with that band plan but not necessarily other countries -- Mexico does not use the same 700 MegaHertz band plan.
So this is it. It's how the system works in Canada. And we have spoken to a couple of providers, and one points out that the -- if they change frequencies, it severely impacts small providers. They would have to go to each of their customers. They measure their customers in hundreds. Not thousands, not tens of thousands, but hundreds of customers. They have been quite clear if we change the spectrum that they have been given, that it will put them out of business. They need good spectrum in order to get through tree coverage in parts of rural Canada.
So two things are slowing the development. The uncertainty of the long-term availability of the spectrum, annual licenses make for a difficult business model. And, two, the spectrum being a tier 2 license and subject to being overturned by a broadcasting station, basically there is no security. It's hard to operate with such little security in this area. So it's a new initiative that Canada is using in providing for rural areas. It's using white space. But it has only had a mixed success.
This is also from a provider who said we are using very basic features and we would like to develop it further. But uncertainty of usable spectrum cools development. So we have this example of a new initiative in white space. It has real potential. But it hasn't really been given the opportunity to develop. And I think it's one that provides a template that other countries might find useful as well.
Thank you very much.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Thank you, Gregory. We will move to Mike Jensen.
>> MIKE JENSEN: Thank you. It's Mike Jensen here from the Association for Progressive Communications. We are an association of NGOs from around the world, focusing on improving Internet access with a Developing Country perspective.
I think the first point I'd like to make is that there is no real one size fits all strategy with regard to developing a national spectrum strategy. I think we can see already from the diversity of the presentations we have had already that we can't really adopt one particular model where it has been tried, for example, in North America or Europe, where, for example, most houses have either cable TV or don't use over-the-air broadcasting or have 99 percent penetration of residential broadband. So in those situations, when we compare that with some Developing Countries where there is almost no fixed line infrastructure and very little broadcasting especially outside of the major urban centers, the environment is very different. And we have to be careful about thinking that there is a global strategy with regard to how we move forward in the spectrum area.
Particularly, in relation to using TV white space, which APC feels is a huge potential in Developing Countries for meeting connectivity needs and providing a low cost community connectivity providers in rural areas with an option, that can provide improved competition against some of the existing players. So we have seen some tests already that have been conducted in many urban areas in Africa, even in the most densely used area of the broadcasting spectrum in Africa, which is probably Cape Town, due to the mountainous topography and the fairly advanced broadcasting infrastructure and the extensive TV white space showed that there was no interference with the broadcasters' services.
And then as we move into other parts of Africa, virtually none of the broadcasting spectrum is used in rural areas, except perhaps in some cases for some of the national broadcasters.
So it's a bit unfortunate this TV white space technology has got the "white space" in the name, because in fact it's not just the guard channels that can be used, but most of the broadcast spectrum can be used for broadband services.
So then I think the next point that I'd like to make is that APC is particularly concerned about the vested interests in all the technologies, in all the business systems and in all the ways of doing things with regard to use of the spectrum.
So what we are seeing is mobile operators using the spectrum as a way of maintaining their franchise and provision of services and generally using it and making efforts to acquire spectrum that could be used more efficiently. And generally also influencing regulators by saying that we don't need TV white space because mobile broadband is going to provide the only solution that we really need to provide connectivity to the next billion. So we have to be aware of those kinds of influences that regulators in Developing Countries are under when they are making their new strategies with regard to these emerging technologies, which as Steve has mentioned really do have tremendous potential for addressing the issue of better spectrum management.
Similarly, we see many regulators still focused on the old way of doing things. We have seen now after four years of presentation a whole month being spent in Geneva at the ITU World Radio Conference, where people are haggling over 50 kilohertz of spectrum, where is is clearly not an efficient use of human resources when software can do a much better job of this, and that's where things are going.
Similarly, I think we need to anticipate to what extent we really need broadcast channels. Clearly they are needed right now. But when we look atthe incredible switch over in North America and Europe and parts of Asia, and even in parts of organized Africa where there's good broadband, people are switching over to use of the broadband services for accessing traditional broadcast type service delivery of content. So I think we have to think about how things are going to be going in the future, even though we might not be there just yet.
I think I'll pause there so that we have time for discussion. Thank you.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Thank you, Mike.
>> VERIDIANA ALIMONTI: Good afternoon to everyone. I'm Veridiana Alimonti. I'm from Intervozes, which is a Civil Society organization from Brazil that was created in 2003 and since then has been fighting for media democratization, including policies related to the Internet.
Well, we are talking here about how the spectrum has been a public and crucial resource for communications, since the radio hour, even prior of this. So regulatory choices and constraints can be changed with digitalization and technology services and other things.
But, and regarding the Internet, this communication potential will only be for everyone if we overcome the challenge of unrestricted and universal Internet access. At the same time, to effectively serve to empower people in communities it must be public interest driven with broad social participation.
An important part of the persistent digital divide, that open room, such as zero-rating and the Free Basics that is part of the Internet.org project could be overcome with a more democratic spectrum allocation. And we are seeing here a series of experiences. And it's important and interesting to have a dialog about our experiences and challenges.
So regarding Brazil, when we see demo/bio statistics that are released, they can make people happy about the situation in Brazil. But it's important that they raise these concerns about it, because most of these mobile plans are prepaid with low data caps, which gives a lot of limitations to its usage.
In rural areas, the situation is worse and the politics quite insufficient to deal with this with really poor coverage.
In Brazil the spectrum allocation to mobile services has privileged the main companies without adopting high standards to reserve portions of the related spectrum for public power use directed to policy implementation. Or a larger subdivision in order to make the licenses more accessible to smaller providers.
A different vision was recently applied by Anatel, our Telecom regulatory body, when approved the notice for bidding the remains of three bands, 1.8, 1.9 and 2.5 gigaHertz for the provision of fixed and mobile broadband. In some cases, selling the frequencies by municipality to encourage the entry of smaller providers.
However, this initiative raised another issue that we are talking here and even Maximilian said. The (inaudible) use or (inaudible) use are a significant part of the (inaudible). Maximilian said in 50 percent of the Brazilian cities, 50 percent of the spectrum is being used. Only 50 percent of the spectrum is being used. So we have to advance the secondary use of radio frequencies, taking into account radio technologies. In Brazil, we are also discussing a new Regulation on restricted radiation, with the proposal to remove the licensing need for the provision of broadband by small providers through restricted radiation and communications equipment. It's an interesting initiative, but some Civil Society organizations consider that other bands should be included as well as the Regulation. (Inaudible) or prioritize nonprofit initiatives. Or the direct state provision in the context of Public Policies.
Finally, but not less important as was said, the digitalization of information and the rate of technology allows us to move forward in the democratization of the use of spectrum and also other services not only for Internet specifically, which is unlicensed use or with light licenses for community use and more traditional services of communication, such as radio and television. And when we talk about free spectrum discussions, we talk also about the regulatory constraints that sometimes they really have to -- they really are dealing with natural or real limitations, but most of the time these constraints are more directed to create artificial sparcity. And the decisions regarding digital television in Brazil are a huge example about it. So we lost an opportunity to amplify the channels and put more diversity in our TV services, and the choice wasn't that.
So we have now with technology and with this kind of discussions, the opportunity to meet the radio restrictions, to meet regulatory restrictions, and amplify our communication potential always regarding human rights, plurality, and diversity. That should be our main concern.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Thank you, Veridiana.
And now we move to Harold Feld.
>> HAROLD FELD: I'm with an NGO called Public Knowledge. I've personally been involved in spectrum policy in the public interest for going on 20 years now.
Rather thank stating my agreement with many of the comments that were made by my colleagues, let me talk briefly about the challenges for Civil Society in participating in spectrum policy.
Because the stakes are so incredibly valuable right now, I would like to point out that one of the problems that we often have is people don't notice what is going on. We talk about caring about serving rural. I can tell you that people who think nothing is happening in white spaces in the United States are unaware that through unlicensed spectrum we are now serving perhaps about 5 million of the most rural inhabitants in the United States. Many of those with providers, wireless ISP providers, are supplementing with first generation fixed TV white spaces equipment. As one expects in first generation fixed TV white spaces equipment, you would expect, particularly with a regulatory overhang from the upcoming spectrum auction of broadcast space, the deployment is doing a lot of things. There are issues. People are learning from them. And the next-generation, presuming that regulators don't pull the plug on it, will be dramatically improved.
And this is one example in things of what we are talking about in terms of licensed exempt spectrum. There is enormous possibility here. We are at a stage where the technology is at last catching up to things that we envisioned 10 or 15 years ago as possibility, and the regulatory sphere, while still very closed, is starting to shift.
As I sometimes say, I am the beneficiary of the people who worked in this before me who managed to turn hard rock into something close to slowly flowing magma. And I'm hoping that we will be able to accelerate that pace of change from maybe slowly flowing magma to something flowing like faster flowing magma sometime soon.
The issues for Civil Society are, first of all, and it's important to understand that there is an enormous ramp up of expertise within Civil Society that has to take place. This is an issue that takes a long time to get into the details, and the details matter. That is very frustrating to people, particularly to funders, who are looking for results. Vint Cerf pointed out in a panel earlier that it was ten years from the time when they wrote the first paper on the Internet to when they first turned on something that was an Internet connection, and then another ten years after that until the Worldwide Web. We are not usually given the luxury of 20 years to prove ourselves in Civil Society about the enormous value of licensed exempt, unlicensed spectrum in this space..
We desperately need representation in the ITU processes, particularly the World Radio Conference and standards bodies, because these are the places where we will achieve harmonization and economies of scale which drive the low cost. WiFi has become so exciting as a means of deployment precisely because there is an International standard. It has been widely adopted. It drove down costs. WRC is important in harmonizing the band plans. It is, as others have pointed out, dominated by the licensed carriers and broadcasters. And a Civil Society presence is soarly needed there to raise issues that are not directly translated into business plans.
Similarly, we desperately need to change the mentality of regulators. Changing anybody's idea about anything takes a long time, and most of what we thought we knew about spectrum and spectrum policy turns out to be utter, completely, and catastrophically wrong. We don't need to limit the number of people that use the public airwaves in order to prevent interference. Now we have software that is better than that, than regulators. We don't need to have auctions to allocate a no longer scarce resource. But the lure of that revenue is powerful for regulators, for local Governments, for national Governments, and the fact that that assists the wealthiest interests is part of what formulates that dynamic.
Only a strong Civil Society presence well versed in both the technical arguments, the economic arguments, and the use cases that are proving successful can outweigh these issues. I do not want to pretend that if we don't get it right in the next few years that we will never have another chance. After all, we have a chance now with unlicensed spectrum to correct the mistakes of last century. But to get that second chance took a hundred years. And I'd like us to not blow it this time around, particularly when in so much of the world there is so much green field in spectrum that if we can actually get the policy, which should be the easy part, right, the technology and the economics follow simply from that.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Thank you Harold. Thank you.
>> (No English interpretation)
>> REMOTE MODERATOR: There are no remote participation, thank you.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Is there anyone in the room who wishes to speak? The microphones are open. So we have one, two. If you -- three. Okay.
If you please state your name, your area in terms of Civil Society, Business or Government or so on and so forth, and please do your comment.
>> AUDIENCE: Okay. I'm Giacomo Mazzone from the European Broadcasting Union, representing here the European Broadcasting Union. And your question is complex who I belong to. We have state broadcasters, public broadcasters, Civil Society and commercial enterprises. So I leave to you the interpretation.
What I want to say is that simply I'm here because I'm breaking my participation to the World Radio Conference, which was mentioned many times today, because the Conference started last week and will end the the end of the month in November. This conference will change a lot in the Regulation, because from now on until 2018, there will be no more conference of this kind very probably to discuss about the use of the spectrum.
And there are some important things that are happening that are behind closed doors. Even for the delegates. Some of the things are happening by negotiation and by interference by Governments.
As you probably know, all the regions except one arrived to the conference saying that there will be no change in the broadcasting spectrum, for instance, and in other kinds of spectrum band C which is used for satellite communication, for instance.
And then once the Conference started, some Governments started to call the delegation or they called the capital, asking to change the position of the Delegation. Notably, this is the position of the U.S. that is lobbying intensively on many other countries, asking them to change the position. What is going on is that there are requests for lowering the spectrum for broadcasting beyond the 600. So going to 400. Not only for the region 1, the North America, but also for the rest of region 1 and all the others. And also there is a request for getting space from the band C that is used for satellite.
Why the debate -- the day that I left Geneva where we were discussing, there were all the satellite users, NASA, European space agencies that were desperate, because at the moment the Telecom operators are asking for using the bandwidth, the bandwidth for satellite for research and the bandwidth for the Rosetta Mission, for instance. That bandwidth has been asked to be used for mobile telephones.
So this is a problem. All the spectrum is going to be auctioned and it will be attributed only on purely economic and financial basis. As you know, probably, Obama, in the agreement that we made with the Republican majority in the Congress, won at this point. It's surprising to find in the agreement between the President of the US and the main opposition party that rules the chambers, is that he is obliged to sell, to put on auction all -- most of the part of the spectrum that is used for public use in the US in the next years.
Why? I think that there is a deliberate will to transform the spectrum in purely an economic and business oriented activity, where the public interest, the public goods, the public service has no space at all.
So the white space existed for the broadcasting space, if that is -- that part of the spectrum is used for broadcasting. But if it's used for mobile, the white space doesn't exist anymore. So I wonder if in the future we will have still to discuss about these kinds of things.
The main problem is that if we don't change the general attitude that the spectrum is a common good and needs to be preserved for the general interest, there will be no more kind of discussion.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Thank you, sir. I was there in the Geneva last week so I'm aware of the discussions. And you quite summarize very well why we are in Geneva right now.
What is funny is that I was in the -- there were some booths in the Conference center. And EBU has a booth. There is also the Satellite Association with the booth. And they are both in front of the GSMA booth. And the GSMA says "the spectrum for all." And they are claiming to take the piece of the spectrum for broadcast, as you just said.
The next one is -- okay.
>> AUDIENCE: Good afternoon. My name is Charmin Ovis. I'm a researcher. I've been collaborating now with the Institute of McBeth. But I've been also dedicated to Governments, the Minister of Communications and others. I was part of the Brazilian team also that developed the Brazilian (inaudible)
So my main question would be, basically, I would like to thank the last intervenor here, which is to ensure that we have the space for communities and public interest on the spectrum. What do you guys think about the -- well, the recommendation of the United Nations, which is to split the spectrum? In Latin America it's been -- well, it's been discussed. Like we have one-third for communities. One-third for the state. And one-third of the spectrum for market. And in Brazil, so far, the Article 223, I mean, it has been liberated. It doesn't work. We don't see that it has been discussing anywhere.
And as United Nation recommendation and as a possibly the best way to ensure that communities will have the possibility to keep their communications, what do you guys think about -- well, let's fight for -- to reserve a part of the spectrum as a common good?
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Thank you.
The next one and the last one. Yes, you, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Hi. Hello. My name is Lucas Teixeira. I work at Coding Rights. I'm part of the Civil Society. And we work mainly with surveillance and privacy issues.
And I would like to ask if there are considerations and discussions regarding surveillance. As you may know, the UN Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, David Kaye, gives -- says a lot about the importance of cryptography for Freedom of Expression. Also, the IETF is now having privacy considerations in each of the documents that they produce about standards.
And I'd like to know how this subject is being approach by the spectrum discussions and community.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Thank you.
So, our time is -- we are short in time. So what I would like to propose for our table is to address the issues that were raised during our dialog. And I would like to summarize some points. And bear in mind that I may have some problems in understanding some of the points that were raised.
But Catherine made a good point by saying that we need to speed up the access to spectrum. And that was some of the points raised by the Civil Society representatives, from Adriano and Veridiana.
And it was also mentioned the need to open the spectrum, as was suggested by Adriano.
And Harold mentioned one thing that is very important, that is the license to spectrum. And here in Brazil I can tell you, Harold, a license spectrum is responsible for at least 4,000 different ISPs providing services across the country. So it's a -- it's a very interesting way that spectrum has been used, as I mentioned before, to having people accessing the Internet. The license spectrum is a very important piece of this discussion.
Mike mentioned -- sorry. Steve mentioned the technology that will bring new stages in the spectrum management. Mike mentioned, also, the opportunity to use the white space in rural areas. And Gregory also had an example from Canada and rural areas raising a new way to approach the spectrum in rural areas.
But at the end when our colleagues -- and I myself, I'm a regulator, /I work for the Ministry but I'm an employee for the Brazilian regulator.
When we listen to what the regulator just said to us, they said you do auctions? I can't have auctions for small operators. We have that in mind. But still we are managing the spectrum -- the spectrum has been managed for like 40 years. So where is the problem? I don't start to talk about that.
And our colleagues in the audience they made comments. So this would be the drivers myself for the table. So we can start with you. And then we will a roundtable.
>> MIKE JENSEN: Thank you. I think the only point I'd like to make, I'm not familiar with the United Nations Resolution, but I believe the whole of the spectrum is a public good --
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Can you speak louder.
>> MIKE JENSEN: Sorry. I was saying that I don't think we should be thinking about reserving some of the spectrum as a public good. I think the entire spectrum band is a public good. And we should be looking at better management of it in its entirety and not just thinking that some of it should be sectioned off for the public and the rest being private.
>> HAROLD FELD: I have to agree. I think the UN Resolution encapsulates everything that is wrong with how we think about spectrum. And in particular as a practical matter, the approach of segmenting and giving communities small portions generally has been enormously unsuccessful, because of the costs, the lack of economies of scale, except in certain places like lower power FM or the television, which uses the same equipment. And ultimately they are made subordinate to the commercial interests and eventually reclaimed from the commercial interest.
So I think the broader approach is to move away from an idea of scarcity that we need to somehow preserve and shift instead to an idea of abundance. There is a lot of spectrum out there. It should not be constrained. And our focus should be on how to ensure that local communities and individuals are empowered to use these technologies, and own the means of communication, rather than be dependent upon large corporations owning the means of communication.
>> GREGORY TAYLOR: I also have some difficulty with the one-third, one-third, one-third approach. I think it really doesn't divvy up that cleanly and it's different from place to place. I'd like to say it's something that has to change. And this is where academia and Civil Society can I think play a strong role. And that is to change the dialog about scarcity. Scarcity has become the de facto approach for the last we hundred years, and it's still taken as a given. There is a lot of evidence right now to question the very basis of the spectrum scarcity approach. And until we prove the difficulty of that approach, I think we're still facing an uphill battle. So I think that a lot of emphasis and effort should be made right now on proving that the scarcity argument is a construction. It's not a simple fact of science as it's so often portrayed.
>> STEVE SONG: I want to tie some comments together, starting with the question about the UN resolution. I think one of the key things is understanding that spectrum is a multidimentional resource. So if I'm speaking loudly up here and someone is having a whispered conversation in the back, those are two different kinds of use of spectrum in a way. A radio that whispers versus one that is loud can coexist in the same space. The radio that I'm using in Joao Pessoa doesn't affect the radio that I'm using in Rio de Janeiro. The radio that I turn on at night doesn't affect the radio that I use in the morning. There are so many dimensions to spectrum that can be made much more efficiently that it is ultimately clumsy to try and simply be divided into chunks.
The other point is about open standards and the importance of open standards. It draws a distinction between two very similar uses of technology, the RRBS, Rural Broadband, and TV white spaces. And the distinction between the technologies is that TV white spaces technologies are space based on IEEE standards, 82.11AF, which encourage industry associations and builds momentum around manufacturing that creates the same kind of momentum that we have seen develop around WiFi. And that's a critical distinction.
And lastly, I want to emphasize Harold's point that this is a lot to learn here and we desperately need Civil Society to get involved in this process, because if we don't, you know, spectrum will be taken away from us.
>> CATHERINE MIDDLETON: I think just reinforcing the need for Civil Society, but also the enormous challenge here is that we have this massive industrial complex, which is the existing system. Supported by the regulatory environment. Supported by massive corporations. And that's the way it is. So I just don't see how we get to this point of change. That's just a fundamental observation. What do we do? We have got one direction driving us towards sharing, one locking it down, and they seem to be fundamentally incompatible.
>> VERIDIANA ALIMONTI: Yes, of course. A brief comment about the comparative principle and the Brazilian constitution and the UN resolution.
Yes, of course this is inside of a scarcity logic. And inside this logic, which is the one that drives all of these regulations and spectrum regulations until now, importantly, for us, an organization that studies the Regulation on Communication, this is a law in Argentina that did the divide one-third, one-third, one-third was in advance of what relation we have in Brazil. We have this principle, but it's not applied in broadcast, in special. Because on the Internet this discussion -- in the Internet, the spectrum allocation for the Internet this discussion even exists. It wasn't advanced, but of course with the new technologies and with the digitalization of information, the artificial scarcities, it's now more visible than -- it was visible before, but now it's more visible.
And we should do this discussion inside this context. But until it doesn't happen, well, this is a standard that we keep in mind. But even though we talk about a portion of hte Spectrum to private companies or to private service, to state service and to public service, it doesn't mean that not -- it doesn't mean that the spectrum in a way -- in total is a common resource. It is a common resource. And even if it's -- if it's a company providing service in there, they have to do that in a public -- in a public interest way.
So... it's only the agents that are providing the service or that are using the spectrum and not -- and not the nature of the spectrum as a public and a common resource.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Okay. Final comment. We are finished. Final comment.
>> ADRIANO BELISSARIO: Just a brief comment about surveillance. And I believe that this idea of free spectrum can point to some technological possibility to escape it from the surveillance.
And we know that one of the big problems with the surveillng in the Internet is that we do not have control of the material infrastructure, where the data flows. When we -- if you -- we are talking about spectrum, if we are talking encrypted communication in spectrum, things change.
So it's a great point to develop.
>> MAXIMILIANO MARTINHAO: Okay. Thank you. I pass to Carlos Afonso to finish.
>> CARLOS AFFONSO: Thank you for the participation. It was excellent. And it's a pity that we don't have three or four hours more to discuss the issue.
Thank you very much.
(End of session 12:40)