European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Members have warned that the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme’s (RSPP) balanced approach in spectrum management might be put at risk at this year’s World Radio Conference (WRC-12) which is currently taking place in Geneva. The RSPP, that will be approved this week by the European Parliament, is Europe’s five-year policy programme to strategically plan and harmonise the use of spectrum in order to ensure the functioning of the internal market.
Although not in the original WRC-12 agenda, but after pressure from the African and Arab regional administrations, delegations at the World Radio Conference are currently looking to allocate the 700MHz band (694-790 MHz) to mobile services. Such a decision would cause considerable problems in Europe, where the 700MHz band is heavily used for terrestrial broadcasting with, in many cases, long-term licensing arrangements in place.
It would cause considerable disruption, additional expense and loss of services for millions of viewers across Europe. Broadcasters also consider this band as being crucial to the future development of innovative new terrestrial services.
The RSPP instead refers to existing spectrum legislation, the EU Telecom Package, and urges future spectrum policies to be in line with its core message: spectrum is a scarce public good which must be managed with ‘special attention’, striking a balance between economic, cultural and social values in the public interest.
The EBU also supports the idea of a European Spectrum Inventory as proposed by the RSPP. The inventory should identify spectrum bands where efficient use of spectrum could be improved, re-allocated and/or shared. The inventory would also look at possible future spectrum needs of all services. Any mobile allocation in the 700 MHz band may preclude the outcome of the spectrum inventory.
- Interference Problems Loom (Critical Distance Weblog)