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European Advisory Group Established to Study Best Use of UHF TV Spectrum

The European Commission has established a new advisory group to make proposals to the Commission on how to use the UHF spectrum band (470-790 MHz) most effectively in the coming decades. The advisory group will be led by Pascal Lamy and will include top executives from Europe's broadcasters, network operators, mobile companies and tech associations.

Digital Commissioner Nellie Kroes is asking for the final report to be delivered by July 2014.

“Europe needs to use spectrum more effectively if we want to benefit from the latest TV and internet developments,” said Kroes. “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. 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.”

Lamy stated that he expected the 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,” said Lamy

The advisory group was tasked with exploring how Europe will access and use audiovisual content and data in the medium to long term and to provide options responding to several challenges. These were set forth as follows:

• 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?

To learn more about European Union telecom spectrum policies, see

For a complete list of members of the advisory group, see the Annex in the release Pascal Lamy leads new advisory group on future use of UHF spectrum for TV and wireless broadband.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.