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EBU renews call for safeguarding of DTT spectrum

EBU press imageThe EBU has renewed its call for the safeguarding of the interests of digital-terrestrial TV viewers as the European Commission closed its public consultation on the Lamy Report on the future of the UHF band. 

The EBU emphasised the conclusion of the Lamy Report that digital-broadcast TV “will continue to play an essential role as a major distribution platform for the foreseeable future. Its sustainable development is dependent on spectrum in the UHF band, which gives it capacity to further innovate and develop and thus to remain viable and competitive.”

The EBU is concerned that recommendations have been made to release the 700MHz band currently used by broadcasters for mobile broadband applications by around 2020, arguing that this is too early.

“As the Commission is developing a long-term strategy for the future use of the UHF frequency band, we emphasise that this band is the only globally harmonised spectrum for DTT and is crucial for the provision of free-to-air TV services. It is vital that the EU strategy provides long-term certainty of spectrum access for DTT in order to facilitate investment and the future viability of the terrestrial broadcasting platform. This certainty should be safeguarded in the relevant EU legislation, including the future Radio Spectrum Policy Programme, and the EU policy objectives for the ITU WRC-15 and subsequent WRCs,” said EBU technical director Simon Fell.

“The EBU is concerned about recommendations that the 700MHz band be released by 2020 with the flexibility of +/- two years. This is too early for a mandatory EU deadline because the transition of DTT out of the 700MHz band must take the situations of individual member states into account.”

The Lamy Report and the consultation will feed into the EC’s position for the forthcoming WRC-15 conference, where the future of the UHF band is set to be a major topic.

The EC’s analysis of the results of the consultation will be published within 30 days.