The Dutch government plans to extend the current DTT licence for KPN’s Digitenne service with another three years.

The government plans to free up the 700MHz spectrum for LTE usage, and writes “with the anticipated release of the 700 MHz band for mobile broadband, approximately 30% of the available frequencies will be lost for terrestrial television. To continue to provide at least a quantitative and qualitative offering that is similar to the current DVB-T offer, a switchover to DVB-T2 is necessary.”

“The ministry expects that after 2017 terrestrial TV in the Netherlands will continue to play a social and cultural role, and hence sees no reason to stop allocating frequency space after January 31, 2017 for public and commercial terrestrial television.”

At the moment, the Dutch public broadcasters have a DTT to broadcast the national and regional public channels as a free to air service. KPN’s Digitenne holds the licence to offer a pay DTT platform offering a selection of Dutch and international public and private channels.

The current KPN licence runs out at the end of January 2017.

The extension will give KPN enough time to transition the Digitenne service to DVB-T2 technology, which is needed for any further development of the digital TV service.

The decision was announced in a policy paper on DVB-T and the 700 MHz band. Interested parties can comment until June 15 on the proposal. (Consultation website is available in Dutch only)