HFCC is a non-governmental, non-profit association, and a sector member of the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva in the category of international and regional organisations. It manages, and co-ordinates global databases of international shortwave broadcasting in keeping with International Radio Regulations of the ITU. The HFCC provides representation, tools and services to its members for the resolution or minimisation of instances of mutual interference among shortwave transmissions. Organises regular conferences prior to the start-dates of seasonal broadcasting schedules that coincide with the dates of clock-time changes for the summer and winter periods. There are two seasonal schedules and their validity is global. The schedule designated "A" corresponds to the summer, and "B" to the winter period on the Northern hemisphere.
The Extension of HFCC activities – the background
Why is the HFCC extending its activities?
The current adjustments to the HFCC’s activities are associated with the reduction of shortwave transmissions in many countries. The HFCC has decided to promote a balanced system of content delivery that would prevent a hasty and possibly irreversible demise of traditional sound radio broadcasting from terrestrial shortwave transmitters.
The HFCC believes in the synergy of delivery platforms and not competition between them. Each platform has specific properties and was indispensable in specific context situations. It was wrong to exclude one technology, for example, shortwave radio, because there was not enough money.
Opposing new and emerging delivery platforms of international broadcasting is not on our agenda. On the contrary, our principle aim is the creation of a balanced system of content delivery, where the respective technologies do not compete, but complement each other.
The emergence of a new media technology has never replaced an old one, and all technologies are capable of existing side by side. The prediction that the internet would replace television, for example, is not happening. Audience research indicates that TV use is actually growing - partly because of additional and background information that is being spread on the internet - including social media. Similarly, the detailed information we are capable of providing on the internet about shortwave schedules and listening should strengthen public awareness of shortwave radio and its specific properties.
Will SW coordination continue?
Shortwave frequency management and co-ordination is the HFCC’s core activity and this will continue. The HFCC will also provide listeners with free access to accurate frequency and schedule information. This is an important part of the promotion of shortwave listening among the public. Other possibilities - including the offer of HFCC membership to equipment manufacturers and other entities - would be examined in order to promote the idea of effective multi-platform content delivery.
How will the HFCC’s activities be extended?
The HFCC would like to become a forum for a debate on the future of international broadcasting delivery. TV and Radio organizations were busy discussing the future distribution of media content and the use of new – mainly digital – technologies. The HFCC will become a forum for such a debate in international broadcasting. A debate on delivery of international broadcasting has been almost missing from the discussions about changes in audio-visual media.
Potential synergies between wireless and other delivery platforms would be on the agenda of future conferences. The HFCC Steering Board would try to create a special program for up to one day in the conference week, on hybrid solutions, consisting of broadcast technologies complemented by internet based distribution, internet receivers and similar subjects. What is even more important – and the HFCC will rely on its members in this respect – is that frequency planners and coordinators will themselves take part in this process by taking up interest in the current rapid changes of content distribution, and that they will co-operate and invite distribution planners and strategists to future conferences.
The content of the HFCC website had already been expanded and more information on distribution platforms was planned, as well as more content for shortwave listeners and for those interested in the expansion of the HFCC's activities.
The HFCC has decided not to change its name, even though its activities are expanding beyond shortwave. However, “International Broadcasting Delivery” would appear prominently on the home page of the HFCC website, to show that the HFCC has extended its activities into other delivery platforms.
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