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New European Advisory Group on Future Use of UHF Spectrum For TV and Wireless Broadband

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New European Advisory Group on Future Use of UHF Spectrum For TV and Wireless Broadband

New European Advisory Group on Future Use of UHF Spectrum For TV and Wireless Broadband
January 15
15:33 2014

Pascal Lamy and top executives from Europe’s broadcasters, network operators, mobile companies and tech associations have been given six months to make proposals to the European Commission on how to use the UHF spectrum band (470-790 MHz) most effectively in coming decades.

In the face of a rapid and massive growth in demand for spectrum – as consumers demand new broadcast and internet options – Digital Commissioner Neelie Kroes is asking for quick results: a final report will be delivered by July 2014.

Neelie Kroes says: “Europe needs to use spectrum more effectively if we want to benefit from the latest TV and internet developments. That’s why we need a new consensus on how to use broadcast spectrum, and that’s why I made the coordination of broadband spectrum a central feature of our effort to build a telecoms single market.”

Pascal Lamy says: ‘I expect these discussions to be quite challenging. Nobody will get everything they want, but I am confident that, based on an open discussion and a willingness to engage at the strategic level, we can deliver a coherent vision for Europe.”

The advice of the High Level Group will help the Commission develop, in cooperation with the Member States, a long-term strategic and regulatory policy on the future use of the entire UHF band (470-790 MHz), including possibilities for sharing parts of the band.

Kroes adds: “The TV viewing habits of young people bear no resemblance to that of my generation. The rules need to catch-up in a way that delivers more and better television and more and better broadband. Current spectrum assignments won’t support consumer habits of the future – based on huge amounts of audiovisual consumption through broadband and IPTV.”

The Group has been asked to look at how Europe will access and use audiovisual content and data in the medium to long term and come up with options that respond to 4 separate challenges:
* What will next generation (terrestrial) provision/reception of audiovisual content (including linear TV) look like?
* How do we secure the public interest and consumer benefits while facilitating market transformation?
* What are the strategic elements of spectrum use in the UHF band in light of the first challenge? What would the regulatory role of the EU be in coordinating developments?
* What are the financial implications for a next-generation terrestrial platform for broadcasting and internet use?

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