The EBU has called on European decision makers to support developments in terrestrial broadcasting and to take into account the complementary nature of broadband.
Speaking at the EU spectrum summit in Brussels, Lieven Vermaele, Director of the EBU’s Technical Department, said both DTT and broadband are vital platforms for media organisations and the public today and in the future. “EU spectrum policy needs to respect diversity; allow for different local, regional and national perspectives; guarantee quality of service; use spectrum efficiently. This must apply to both broadcast and broadband.”
Vermaele said the digital terrestrial platform was still growing and remained the only way to guarantee universal access to radio and TV services for fixed, mobile and portable devices. To achieve this broadcasters needed adequate spectrum within the UHF band and any reduction beyond the 800 MHz would have negative consequences for broadcasters and viewers alike.
“To support the EU audiovisual policy objectives, broadband networks must be universally available and open, and must guarantee coverage and quality of service for all users too. Rural broadband that relies only on digital dividend spectrum would be poor, unable to provide high quality of media services and ultimately lead to ‘second-class broadband’ in the EU,” said Vermaele.
In many ways Vermaele represent a softening of the EBU’s tone towards the allocation of the digital dividend. The organisation has previously taken a more aggressive stance towards the release of TV spectrum for use by mobile operators. It is however a key supporter of hybrid broadcast broadband (HBB services).