Lamy to head spectrum advisory group

January 14, 2014 11.21 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Pascal LamyDigital Commissioner Neelie Kroes has named Pascal Lamy to lead a new advisory group into the future use of UHF spectrum for TV and wireless broadband.

The former European Commissioner has been given six months to make proposals to the European Commission on how to use the UHF spectrum band (470-790 MHz) most effectively in coming decades.

“I expect these discussions to be quite challenging. Nobody will get everything they want, but I am confident that, based on an open discussion and a willingness to engage at the strategic level, we can deliver a coherent vision for Europe,” said Lamy, who is also a former head of the World Trade Organisation.

The advice of the High Level Group will help the Commission develop, in cooperation with Member States, a long-term strategic and regulatory policy on the future use of the entire UHF band (470-790 MHz), including possibilities for sharing parts of the band.

Kroes said: “The TV viewing habits of young people bear no resemblance to that of my generation. The rules need to catch-up in a way that delivers more and better television and more and better broadband. Current spectrum assignments won’t support consumer habits of the future – based on huge amounts of audiovisual consumption through broadband and IPTV.”

The Group has been asked to look at how Europe will access and use audiovisual content and data in the medium to long term and come up with options as to what the future terrestrial provision of audiovisual content might look like and what regulatory role the EU might hold.

Included in the group are James Purnell, Executive Director Strategy and Digital, BBC; Tom Buhrow, Director-General, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Claudia Nemat, Board Member – Europe and Technology, Deutsche Telekom; Mr Lars Backlund, Secretatry-General, Broadcast Networks Europe (BNE) and Ingrid Deltenre, Director-General, EBU.