EBU reacts to report on spectrum allocation - TVBEurope

EBU reacts to report on spectrum allocation

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has welcomed the European Commission’s High Level Group report recommending that the EU safeguard access to spectrum below 700MHz for digital terrestrial television until 2030.
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The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has welcomed the European Commission’s High Level Group report recommending that the EU safeguard access to spectrum below 700MHz for digital terrestrial television until 2030. However, it is concerned about the early release of the 700MHz frequencies.
The group, chaired by former European Commissioner and WTO director general Pascal Lamy looked at future use of the UHF spectrum band between 470 to 790MHz which is essential for the broadcast of free-to-air digital terrestrial television (DTT).
EBU Members welcomed the report’s recommendation that the “EU should adopt a common position against the co-primary allocation of the core audiovisual band (470-694MHz) to the mobile service at WRC 2015”.
Following a thorough assessment of consumer demand, network supply and member state diversity, the report stressed that broadcasters and citizens should not be disadvantaged by the transition of DTT out of the 700MHz band, and the costs of transition should be duly addressed.
The EBU is concerned about the recommendations that the 700MHz band be released to other stakeholders, especially mobile phone operators, by 2020 with the flexibility of +/- 2 years.
"There is a danger that this will not give broadcasters and viewers enough time to adapt to appropriate spectrum arrangements and ensure the necessary upgrade of DTT networks and consumer equipment, especially in countries where DTT is the main TV platform," said Simon Fell, the EBU's head of technology and innovation.
The broadcasting industry argues that an early release date is likely to cause disruption to TV services in a number of member states. The report notes that because of the "recent assignments in the 800MHz band, the 700MHz band is not immediately needed for mobile services" and proposes a "stock take" by 2025 to provide a factual basis for future policy decisions on spectrum allocation.
The EBU believes this should include all relevant market and technology developments as well as all relevant frequency bands for terrestrial broadcasting and mobile broadband.
http://www3.ebu.ch/advocacy/initiatives/spectrum

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