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Lower UHF Spectrum: Priorities For Best Use

13 May 2022
Lower UHF Spectrum: Priorities For Best Use

Public Service Media (PSM) deliver high-quality content and services to inform, educate and entertain all people in the EU, wherever they are. Audiences need to continue enjoying our services across all platforms, whether broadcast or on the internet. PSM are embracing digital and driving innovation on all platforms – including in broadcasting, the value of which remains undisputed in bringing content to EU households.

The lower UHF spectrum (also called “sub-700MHz band”) spans from 470 to 694MHz and is used by all EU countries to provide free-to-air Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) services to their audiences. DTT and satellite are tied in first place as the preferred way to watch live television, with 29% each of the viewing public in the EU. In contrast, IPTV consumption remains at 20%. Linear television viewing remains stable, at more than 3h30min per day, since 2015, with peaks of over 5 hours.

The next ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23), in November / December 2023, will consider revising part of the Radio Regulations, the international treaty on management of radio spectrum that deals with the lower UHF spectrum. As preparations take place for WRC-23, the EBU urges negotiators to protect the current agreement.

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Vincent Sneed

Senior EU Policy Adviser