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IP/10/232

Brussels, 4 th March 2010

Radio spectrum: public consultation on future policy; 22-23 March Summit

The European Commission has launched a consultation on strategic priorities for an EU radio spectrum policy programme for 2011-2015. Access to radio spectrum is essential for a huge range of activities from telephony and broadcasting through to transport and space applications. Wide and fair access to radio spectrum is crucial to ensure that EU citizens in both urban and rural areas can enjoy the benefits of digital technology. Better use of spectrum could also give Europe's economy a boost since rolling out fast wireless services would enhance competitiveness and growth. Industry, consumers and other stakeholders are invited to respond to the consultation by 9 April. A "Spectrum Summit" held jointly by the Commission and the European Parliament will take place on 22/23 March to discuss Europe's spectrum priorities.

Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said "The daily lives of citizens and business are affected by how we use radio spectrum and so we are giving them an opportunity to have their say on how we should allocate access to this scarce resource. Their replies will provide useful input for the development of an efficient EU radio spectrum policy."

Services relying on the use of radio spectrum contribute approximately €300bn to European GDP, but currently spectrum is not always used efficiently. Making optimum use of spectrum would stimulate innovation and help the EU deliver universal broadband access by 2013. The Commission invites stakeholders and consumers to comment on the policy orientations for the future use of radio spectrum in the EU on the following themes:

  • Economic recovery and growth

  • Social inclusion and services for citizens

  • Environmental and health protection

  • Space applications and transport safety

  • Coordination and negotiations at international level

  • Re-assignment of spectrum (refarming) and competition.

This consultation will help the Commission in drafting a Radio Spectrum Policy Programme to be presented to the European Parliament and Council by mid 2010.

A "Spectrum Summit' will also be jointly held on 22/23 March 2010 by the European Parliament and the Commission in Brussels, and will gather representatives from the European Parliament, the Council and other stakeholders, who will debate on EU radio spectrum policy orientations for the future.

Background

In November 2009, the European Parliament and the Council agreed to modify the EU Telecoms rules and called on the Commission to propose a multi-annual Radio Spectrum Policy Programme. The general objective of the programme, defined in the revised EU telecoms rules adopted last year (MEMO/09/513) is to "set out the policy orientations and objectives for the strategic planning and harmonisation of the use of radio spectrum"."

The document of the public consultation as well as information about the multiannual radio spectrum policy programme can be found on:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/radio_spectrum/index_en.htm

New electronic communications framework:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32009L0140:EN:NOT

Spectrum Summit

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/radio_spectrum/spectrum_summit_2010/index_en.htm


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