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Broadcasters slam “few traces” of Lamy report in Digital Single Market proposal

Pascal Lamy

Pascal Lamy

Broadcaster lobby group Broadcast Network Europe (BNE), under the banner of the Wider Spectrum Group, has called on the European Commission to provide greater long-term legal certainty that sufficient spectrum will be made available to preserve terrestrial broadcasting alongside mobile broadband.

In an open letter to EC president Jean-Claude Juncker, the group called on the EC “to consider the impact of frequency allocation on European jobs and growth” and “the possible consequences for the media, creative and cultural sector, now recognised as one of Europe’s top three sectors by growth and employment”.

In the letter, the group said it hoped for a consensual outcome to spectrum allocation and said there is a strong case for co-existence between terrestrial broadcasting and mobile broadband services.

It expressed surprised that the EC’s reported draft communication on the Digital Single Market appears to incorporate “so few traces” of the Lamy report on the future of the UHF – 700MHz – band, which made a strong case for the continued relevance of DTT. The group said that the draft communication “appears not to make the connection between spectrum allocation and local creative and cultural jobs, media pluralism and diversity”.

In an annex to its letter, the Wider Spectrum Group said that moving away from DTT would result in a loss of €38.5 billion to the European economy even before any impact on the EU’s creative industries was taken into consideration.