EU calls for faster digital TV transition to make way for wireless broadband

The European Union commissioner for information and media, Viviane Reding is encouraging all EU member nations to ramp up the pace with the digital TV roll-out and complete the transition to digital TV by the start of 2012 to make way for wireless broadband rollouts on the spectrum.

The spectrum, known as Digital Dividend spectrum, lies in the 790 MHz to 862 MHz frequencies, and is occupied by analog TV services. The European Commission has earmarked the spectrum for wireless broadband use in hopes of meeting the EU's target of offering broadband coverage to all citizens by 2013.

Laboratory tests carried out on behalf of trade body Cable Europe suggested the potential for interference from LTE transmissions when used near a set-top box or cable modem. The interference is said to be sufficient to knock out TV signals, though Cable Europe believed the problem to be avoidable. Hence, Reding's call for a faster digital TV rollout.

"I urge national authorities to use the digital dividend in a pro-competitive way to open up the market for new operators and new services, maximizing the impact on the economy," Reding said. "Only this will ensure the digital dividend is used to bring wireless broadband to parts of the EU where high-speed internet cannot be provided efficiently by other technologies."

For more:
- see this Broadband TV News article

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