News      |      Events

WBU picks up ABU’s call for global broadcasting alliance to defend spectrum

At its meeting in Seoul, Korea, immediately following the ABU General Assembly, the World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) picked up ABU’s call for unity among the world’s broadcasters to preserve terrestrial spectrum for matters of ‘public interest’ when digital switchover takes place.

The EBU’s director of technology and innovation Lieven Vermaele called for joint action in defense of spectrum for broadcasting worldwide, and proposed that the DigiTAG organization might be an ideal forum for such cooperation. The issue of spectrum was also on the agenda of the WBU Technical Committee the previous day, when a recommendation on spectrum use was agreed.

According to Broadcast Engineering, the EBU has also been arguing that defending spectrum will achieve little unless accompanied by firm commitment from governments of continuing support for public service broadcasting at this time of global uncertainty over its future, especially in counties where public sector budgets are being squeezed.

The EBU has warned that if broadcasters’ entire income is linked to the markets, then they are exposed to market fluctuations or failure. Broadcasters must be able to honor their remits while adapting to new consumer demands and technology. If they are to provide high quality and relevant content to the broadest possible audience, then specific, sustainable funding is paramount.

Delegates in 49th General Assembly of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) in Seoul agreed space on the old analogue radio spectrum should not be sold for short term gain – it should be devoted to the public good. There was also a growing consensus around the idea promoted recently by the DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) group, as well as the EBU, that the existing four main digital terrestrial variants should converge towards a common global standard in future.