Reflections for Latin America
OMB's Julián Muro argues that a culture of reserve teams is needed in Latin America. "People buy a transmitter like it's a fridge. But a transmitter is much more complex and can fail more easily than a refrigerator," says Muro, acknowledging that "everything depends, in turn, on people's pockets."
In some countries there are few television stations and then these, stronger and more solvent, may consider having a stand-by transmitter. But when it comes to affiliated stations juggling the first transmitter, there's almost no way to ask them the need to buy a backup one. "They don't realize that if they go the transmitter, they're going to be out for two months, with tremendous losses."
Bruno Manzo, for his part, recalls a similar disaster case with transmitters installed in a small tower on the roof of a hotel on the Venezuelan coast when floods affected that area three years ago. "Since there was no power, the hotel closed and you couldn't get to the rooftop, so they had the transmitter turned off for several months," Manzo recalls. The only alternative there was to have a small transmitter on some kind of mobile device. For example, a Van with a mast and transmit from there. But it's never the same as with the original antenna. Omnidirectional antennas are too large and to have a mobile antenna, it must be small."
Not all the continent is the same. In some countries the antennas will be exposed to hurricanes and tropical storms, while in others floods or heavy snowfall will have to be expected. It is difficult – though not impossible – for the events of September 11 to be repeated in the United States or in Latin America. However, when a television station plans its installation of transmitters and antennas, the backup considerations now, after the WTC attacks, will be different.