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EC wants the public to have their say over TV frequency plans

The European Commission has launched a three month public consultation over the future use of the UHF frequency band, used by digital TV platforms such as Freeview in the UK and Saorview in the Irish Republic.

In recent years individual European countries, including the UK, have expressed a desire to auction off the 700 MHz frequency band to mobile network operators, following in the steps of countries including the USA and Australia.

This would mean that the amount of spectrum available for digital terrestrial TV services is reduced around the turn of the next decade.

Announcing the consultation, the European Commission said it hoped "that citizens, consumers and their associations will give their views, as any future developments in the use of the UHF broadcasting band would affect the quantity and quality of broadcasting and mobile services and could imply future upgrades of equipment (e.g. TV sets).

"The questionnaire includes a section designed specifically for citizens. The background section illustrates the issues that are relevant to citizens and consumers, and clarifies the questionnaire as a whole."

Coming just years after the 800 MHz band has been cleared in the UK, the broadcast industry is supporting a growing Europe-wide consensus that the sub-700 MHz band should be protected for digital terrestrial TV until at least 2030, with a review about the future of digital terrestrial television by 2025. Some organisations say that broadband internet and satellite TV will be able to deliver TV services beyond 2030. The consultation builds on a recent report by Mr Pascal Lamy on the matter.

You can read more and take part in the consultation via the following external link:


  1. There will always be people living in very rural areas who's broadband will never be fast enough for TV, especially since the bit rate for decent TV keeps going up. Some of these people live in conservation areas or have other restrictions that prevent them from putting satellite dishes up. If all terrestrial TV is turned off beyond 2030 such people will have no TV, is that acceptable?


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