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WA Office | International Radio Standards Act


There are two opinions on this proposal.

The first is Kenmoria's:

The proposal at-vote, “International Radio Standards Act”, aims to create international legislation to ensure the safety and compatibility of radio transmissions across member states. It does so both by protecting the freedom of member nations to regulate radio devices to ensure that military broadcasts are not received and no damage can be dealt by the radio frequencies themselves, and by allocating bands of the radio spectrum for use by member states.

The first goal, to ensure international radio safety, is accomplished principally by clause 4. Although it is true that clause 4 permits actions which, due to the nature of the World Assembly, would be permitted in the absence of any legislation on the matter, it is also true that this proposal thereby prevents future legislation from restricting member states from employing policies to ensure the safety of radio in their territories. Clause 4 explicitly protects the rights of member nations to disallow their citizens access to military transmissions, for example.

The second aim of the proposal, compatibility between states, is accomplished in clause 2. By allocating specific bands of the radio spectrum for national usage, the IRA ensures that there is not a risk of interference between states, which could cause loss of audio quality to an unintelligible extent, if other factors that lower radio quality are also present.

To conclude, the “International Radio Standards Act” is a proposal which aims to protect the safety and international compatibility of radio transmissions. It does so in a reasonable manner, leaving open room for member states to make decisions according to local differences, while still tackling the issue with an international focus. Hence, this office recommends a vote FOR the proposal.

The second is Regnum Italiae's:

The proposal at-vote, “International Radio Standards Act”, aims to create international legislation to ensure the safety and compatibility of radio transmissions across member states. While the proposal appears to be well written, there are a few issues that rise our concerns about its effectiveness.

Firstly, while the preamble clearly states "Considering the detrimental effects that a lack of standards has [...] such as incompatibilities in equipment", the proposal does nothing in this regard and the only provision about radio equipment (section 4) just allows member states to restrict or prohibit some uses, manufacturings, and sales of such equipment.

Secondly, the International Radio Authority established under section 1 has no clear responsibilities or duties, except for the ones defined in sections 2 and 3, namely managing the allocations of frequency slots and keeping a registry of radio transmitters. The IRA is not empowered in any way, for example, of overseeing the management of the mentioned registry, since this is brought upon member states. One might wonders whether such little capabilities are enough to accomplish its purpose and to justify its existence.

Thirdly, the above-mentioned allocation of frequencies is made without any regard to the market regime of the member states and of the technological level of their equipment, thus leading to possibly harmful situations like the de facto nationalizations of frequencies allocations in nations under a free market regime or the impositions of unconvenient allocations to technologically disadvantaged nations.

Finally, we might consider again the rather vague use of the term reasonable that we see throughout the resolution, most notably in section 4(b). The use of this inherently relative term, in fact, makes much more difficult to determine whether nations are making their best effort or not.

For these reasons, we think that the proposal does not fulfill its aims and might even cause harm to some member nations. Thus, we recommend a vote AGAINST the proposal.

Primary author(s): Kenmoria, Regnum Italiae.


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