The Technical Committee of the EBU has recently adopted a position paper that highlights the importance of the terrestrial broadcasting platform in Europe. The purpose of this position paper is to emphasise the importance of terrestrial broadcasting and to highlight its unique features.


In many countries the terrestrial broadcasting platform is the primary means of delivering broadcasting services. Its coverage often exceeds 98% of the population and it is the only platform that provides free-to-air services. For EBU members the terrestrial platform has an important role in fulfilling the obligation of universal coverage, which is part of their public service remit.


Terrestrial broadcasting generates social and economic benefit


The terrestrial broadcasting platform represents a unique combination of characteristics such as, technical excellence and efficiency, favourable coverage and support of services, flexibility, market success and wide acceptance by industry as well as by the public in most European countries.


Even in countries where cable, satellite or broadband hold a significant market share, terrestrial broadcasting is usually regarded as an essential, flexible and reliable way of delivering broadcasting content to a mass audience. This stimulates competition amongst the delivery platforms, although the terrestrial can also be complementary to other platforms. It is therefore in the interest of both the broadcasting industry and society as a whole that the terrestrial broadcasting platform remains attractive for viewers and listeners and a viable alternative to other delivery platforms. Furthermore it provides intrinsic added value and stimulates a constant search for new opportunities. As a result the terrestrial broadcasting platform generates significant social and economic benefit.


Radio spectrum is essential for terrestrial broadcasting


The terrestrial broadcasting platform is widely supported by manufacturers, network operators, broadcasters, regulators and the public. For this support to continue, regulatory clarity and certainty are required as they enable broadcasters and the associated industry, not forgetting the public, to make the right investments into future technology and services.


Radio frequency spectrum is an essential resource for terrestrial broadcasting. Sufficient spectrum must be available now and in the future to accommodate the evolving needs of terrestrial broadcasting and to protect the investments made by broadcasters, network operators and the public. The needs of both public service and commercial broadcasting must be taken into account.


The full text of this EBU Position paper can be found here.

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