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OCR for page 67
WORKING PAPER CONCLU SIONS The world's space and communications engineering, commercial, and industrial communities could provide the natural and human resources required to establish a global, multiregional, common-user, direct-to-surface receiver space audio broadcasting (DBS-A) system-service within the next decade. The service could have unexceptionable coverage, reliability and quality, and could be flexibly and easily used by the world's listening public. This could be done in such a fashion as to allow the system-service's widespread, equitable use by al] of the countries of the world relatively soon and at a cost quite low relative to that of today's shortwave broadcast) ng. Such a service would sharply improve worldwide audio broadcasting; most of the political and operational problems inherent in today's shortwave direct broadcasting would be eliminated. While able to be established in the high HE, VHF, portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, location at preferable. Or ~ ow SHE or UHF appears The private sector should be able to provide such system-services using its own resources, given redated ongoing and anticipated technological developments, especially those by the U.S. government, and the character and magnitude of the broadcaster and listener markets. The public purse need not be burdened for either its acquisition or ongoing provision. For the next several years, most of the VOA's planning and engineering attention must be devoted to its surface-based HE and ME modernization and expansion program. But, at the same time and in close concert with other Federal agencies (NSC, Departments of State and Commerce, NTIA, NASA, FEMA, and FCC) it would protect its own, and the country's, longer term interests if it supported the research and associated national and international activity required to develop worldwide DBS-A services at the earliest reasonable moment. Different assumptions could be made about the quality, reliability and capacity of service, service coverage areas, operational circumstances, technological characteristics of the electronic components, and communications methods required and the cost of space-related technology and its use. Such different assumptions would result in somewhat different conclusions about the kind of space segment and the DC power it would require, the amount and location of radiowave spectrum that would be occupied, and the cost of providing regional and worldwide DBS-A system-services. But the assumptions, estimates, and conclusions presented here appear to be adequate for the purposes of this paper and this Co~nittee's charge. - 67 - WORKI NG PAP ER