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Spectrum debate: The bigger picture

Right after IBC’s ‘Great Spectrum Debate’ decided to signal that the broadcast group had ‘beaten’ the mobile broadband community, the show was buzzing with the news that the EU, in light of the Pascal Lamy report on spectrum allocation, had decided that a further consultative period is required.

European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes wrote to members of the High Level Group to thank them for their efforts on behalf of Lamy, and referred to an extra public consultancy.

Reactions from the EBU came from director general Ingrid Deltenre and spectrum expert Darko Ratkaj.

Deltenre said: “This debate is not yet finished. After the Lamy report, I think they won’t give up. There was a lot of work done for Lamy – hundred of hours of meetings and expert group meetings. You come to a conclusion, there is a report, and you simply cannot start this whole process again.”

Sadly for the broadcast side of the spectrum battle, Lamy was advice without weight it now appears. “They were a group of hand-picked experts with no power to decide,” said Ratkaj. “At the same time there are two formal groups finalising reports on the use of the UHF band.

“The Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) is finalising a report for the end of the year, with a consultation period until February. The CEBT, the national spectrum regulators body, will publish in November,” he added.

“The big message is that Lamy is one thing in a bigger picture. What we did not know before the letter was that the Commission is planning a public consultation. The spectrum policy unit in Commission Services will probably run that.”