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EC publishes results of 700MHz consultation

11 Jun 2015

The European Commission (EC) on 10 June 2015 published the results of a public consultation on the September 2014 Lamy report concerning the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band across the European Union (EU). According to an EC press release, the results of the consultation suggest that an EU coordinated approach, a common roadmap as well as a cost-efficient transition are needed for a successful release of the 700MHz band (the upper part of the UHF band) for wireless broadband.

356 contributors – citizens and organisations – expressed their views on the Lamy Report and the future use of the 700MHz Broadcasting Band. The respondents gave their suggestions on how to use the 700MHz band (694-790MHz), on the regulatory certainty for current users of spectrum, the flexibility and harmonisation of use of sub-700MHz (470-694MHz) frequencies for TV, as well as the European approach at the 2015 World Radio communication Conference (WRC-15).

Out of 96 organisations responding to the consultation, 61 (63.5%) saw merits in an EU coordinated approach to clear the 700MHz band for wireless broadband usage. A vast majority of the respondents were in favour of establishing a common deadline to clear the 700MHz band and support the Lamy Report proposal of 2020 (+/- two years). Stakeholders are generally in favour of a common EU deadline for conducting a review for broadcasting and wireless broadband services market developments shortly after, possibly around 2025. 66.7% of responding organisations support a common EU position at the WRC-15. For further details of the consultation see the link below.

Regarding its next steps, the EC has launched a study to gather further quantitative data related to the costs and benefits of transition in the EU (SMART 2015/0010: ‘Economic and social impact of repurposing the 700MHz band for wireless broadband services in the European Union’), while the Commission is engaging with the Member States in Council to ensure a coordinated position for WRC-15, Based on the Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe, the EC will make specific proposals regarding the coordinated release of the 700MHz band.

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