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Reding says recession should speed switchover

European Union countries should speed up the switch from analogue to digital TV in light of the current economic downturn, EU Commissioner for Telecoms and Media, Viviane Reding said.

Delivering a lecture in Brussels, Reding said that accelerating switchover will mean spectrum worth up to €200bn will be freed up. The commissioner called upon Member States to ‘act swiftly’ and not wait for the 2012 EU-wide deadline for switchover.

“I believe the present economic crisis requires us to accelerate the ongoing switchover from analogue to digital TV in Europe,” Reding said. “The Commission estimates that the incremental value of this spectrum for wireless broadband across the EU is between €150 and €200bn. Appropriate European coordination of Member States’ work on the digital dividend would increase the potential economic impact of the digital dividend by an additional €50bn between now and 2015.”