Policy makers within the European Parliament are confident of a resolution on the potential of interference to digital television caused by the opening up of spectrum to additional telecommunications services by the so-called Digital Dividend. In an initial discussion of the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme held by the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) Rapporteur Gunnar Hökmark, a centre-right member from Sweden, responded to interference issues raised by a number of members.
In its response to MEPs, the Commission’s Director General for Information Society Robert Madelin addressed the issue of interference calling it an outstanding issue but chose a confident tone.
Madelin said he anticipated it would be possible to resolve the interference issues, including electromagnetic aspects, as part of what he saw as a win-win situation. Interference with cable set-top boxes was something of which the commission was very much aware and EU standards makers were already in the process of adopting a solution to solve the problem.
However, one seasoned observer suggested that to suggest a solution was around the corner was disingenuous, pointing out that existing receivers would not be free of interference problems.
Hökmark said interference was no just restricted to borders, but also fell between technologies. Acknowledging comments by Romanian MEP Silvia-Adriana ?ic?u on the effects the interference would have on cable services, he said that the technology could help to deliver progress.
If as suggested the first reading is rushed through the Parliament, this would enable a second reading to include the necessary compromise, leading to the legislation being completed by the end of 2011.