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Broadcast Networks Europe (BNE) – a trade body for terrestrial broadcast network operators for radio and TV in Europe – has joined other broadcast and satellite bodies in welcoming the long term regulatory security for terrestrial TV broadcasting and long term access to UHF frequencies which was achieved at the World Radio Conference (WRC-15) in Geneva.
Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) networks transmit TV programmes using frequencies in the UHF frequency bands. The same frequencies are also subject to competing demands from other industries, which have to be reconciled at the international level in World Radio Conferences held under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
During the WRC-15 discussions, an overwhelming majority of 125 nations expressed their support to maintain the present UHF allocation to broadcasting, recognising the terrestrial broadcasting service as an important and vital communications medium for citizens worldwide.
According to BNE, this is all the more true in Europe where DTT is appreciated by 250 million Europeans and is a key pillar of the European content and creative industry. “All but two European States were strongly supportive of a decision to maintain the lower UHF frequency band for terrestrial broadcasting. The outcome will also boost consumer confidence in the DTT platform,” noted Lars Backlund, BNE Secretary General, who headed the BNE team at the conference.
Following four years of preparation and four weeks of negotiations, the decisions taken at WRC-15 now provide long term regulatory certainty for DTT at the international level.
“This certainty, together with the European Union strategy emphasising the role of DTT for the foreseeable future, will allow the Broadcast Network Operators and their customers the TV channels to continue to innovate and develop the European DTT platform,” declared Olivier Huart, BNE Chairman.
The WRC 15 conclusion is also a major milestone in a long term industrial strategy leveraging DTT as an integral part of the European Digital Single Market.