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Summaries of EU Legislation

Preparing the ground for ultra-fast broadband by 2020

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Preparing the ground for ultra-fast broadband by 2020

 

SUMMARY OF:

Decision No 243/2012/EU establishing a multiannual radio spectrum policy programme.

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THIS DECISION?

It establishes a radio spectrum* policy across the European Union (EU) to assist in strategic planning in electronic communications, including wireless broadband, mobile communications and the Internet of Things (IoT), while ensuring bandwidth for other priority services (such as police, military and emergency services).

KEY POINTS

The policy establishes an inventory of existing spectrum use, a radio spectrum policy programme (RSPP), and creates a roadmap for the future. It does not address spectrum issues in policy areas such as civil protection, security and defence, or affect EU countries’ rights to use spectrum for their own security matters.

EU countries must cooperate to ensure the consistent application of the EU’s policy objectives, which are to:

  • promote innovation and investment through greater flexibility in the use of spectrum and its efficient management to meet increasing demand, reflecting its social, cultural and economic importance;
  • allocate spectrum to support EU objectives and the increasing use of wireless data, freeing up additional spectrum to enable the EU to take the lead in wireless broadband and new technologies;
  • encourage consumer take-up of digital technology and contribute to the digital agenda for Europe, with the highest possible broadband speed for all EU citizens;
  • promote the transfer or leasing of spectrum rights and infrastructure sharing, avoiding concentration of rights harmful to competition and facilitating general, rather than individual, spectrum authorisations;
  • avoid harmful interference through efficient use of spectrum and increasing device immunity to interference, as well as reducing the carbon footprint by improving energy efficiency.

Sufficient coverage and capacity must be made available for the EU to have the fastest wireless broadband speeds in the world, not less than 30 Mbps for all citizens, by 2020. This could involve, in particular:

  • rapidly releasing additional frequency bands;
  • using the 800-MHz band throughout the EU;
  • using satellite or small cell solutions to enable internet access.

EU countries must also ensure availability of radio frequencies for innovative audio-visual satellite and terrestrial broadcasting, where there is a clear need, and protect the following specific spectrum needs:

FROM WHEN DOES THE DECISION APPLY?

The decision has applied since 10 April 2012.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

* KEY TERMS

Radio spectrum: in electromagnetic radiation, the range of frequencies between 3 Hz and 3 000 GHz that corresponds to radio. The frequencies carry Wi-Fi and mobile telephone signals, and are important in transport, broadcasting, public safety and security communication.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID): a technology which uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to identify objects carrying tags when they come close to a reader. The tags generally feature an electronic chip with an antenna in order to pass information on to the interrogator (a base station or more generally, a reader).

MAIN DOCUMENT

Decision No 243/2012/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2012 establishing a multiannual radio spectrum policy programme (OJ L 81, 21.3.2012, pp. 7-17)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the radio spectrum policy programme (COM(2014) 228 final of 22.4.2014)

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the Radio Spectrum Inventory (COM(2014) 536 final of 1.9.2014)

Commission Implementing Decision 2013/195/EU of 23 April 2013 defining the practical arrangements, uniform formats and a methodology in relation to the radio spectrum inventory established by Decision No 243/2012/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a multiannual radio spectrum policy programme (OJ L 113, 25.4.2013, pp. 18-21)

Commission Implementing Decision 2012/688/EU of 5 November 2012 on the harmonisation of the frequency bands 1 920-1 980 MHz and 2 110-2 170 MHz for terrestrial systems capable of providing electronic communications services in the Union (OJ L 307, 7.11.2012, pp. 84-88)

Commission Implementing Decision 2013/654/EU of 12 November 2013 amending Decision 2008/294/EC to include additional access technologies and frequency bands for mobile communications services on aircraft (MCA services) (OJ L 303, 14.11.2013, pp. 48-51)

Commission Implementing Decision 2013/752/EU of 11 December 2013 amending Decision 2006/771/EC on harmonisation of the radio spectrum for use by short-range devices and repealing Decision 2005/928/EC (OJ L 334, 13.12.2013, pp. 17-36)

Commission Implementing Decision 2014/276/EU of 2 May 2014 on amending Decision 2008/411/EC on the harmonisation of the 3 400-3 800 MHz frequency band for terrestrial systems capable of providing electronic communications services in the Community (OJ L 139, 14.5.2014, pp. 18-25)

Commission Implementing Decision 2014/641/EU of 1 September 2014 on harmonised technical conditions of radio spectrum use by wireless audio programme making and special events equipment in the Union (OJ L 263, 3.9.2014, pp. 29-34)

Commission Implementing Decision 2014/702/EU of 7 October 2014 amending Decision 2007/131/EC on allowing the use of the radio spectrum for equipment using ultra-wideband technology in a harmonised manner in the Community (OJ L 293, 9.10.2014, pp. 48-56)

Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/750 of 8 May 2015 on the harmonisation of the 1 452-1 492 MHz frequency band for terrestrial systems capable of providing electronic communications services in the Union (OJ L 119, 12.5.2015, pp. 27-31)

Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/339 of 8 March 2016 on the harmonisation of the 2 010-2 025 MHz frequency band for portable or mobile wireless video links and cordless cameras used for programme making and special events (OJ L 63, 10.3.2016, pp. 5-8)

Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/687 of 28 April 2016 on the harmonisation of the 694-790 MHz frequency band for terrestrial systems capable of providing wireless broadband electronic communications services and for flexible national use in the Union (OJ L 118, 4.5.2016, pp. 4-15)

last update 13.09.2016

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