The first European Radio Spectrum Policy Programme, setting up a comprehensive EU radio policy and thus providing the platform for further improvements to wireless services is to come into force after being endorsed by Member States.
The text, drawn up by the European Parliament and the Commisson in September 2010 provides policy orientations and objectives for the strategic planning and harmonisation of the use of spectrum. The Radio Spectrum Policy Programme will begin in early 2012 and run to the end of 2015 but its principles and objectives are of a permanent nature and will not expire in 2015.
Access to radio spectrum is essential for a huge range of activities, however, the demand for high quality and cost effective spectrum often exceeds its availability. As not all the demand for spectrum can be satisfied, priorities need to be defined which ensure that spectrum is allocated and used in an efficient and effective way taking into account Community policies while ensuring the avoidance of harmful interference. To this end a European radio spectrum inventory will be created.
The radio spectrum inventory will also examine the need for further harmonised spectrum for wireless broadband, as it is neccesary to ensure that EU citizens in both urban and rural areas can enjoy the benefits of digital technology and fast broadband connections. The new policy will thus foster the roll-out of high speed wireless broadband systems by setting tight deadlines for authorising the use of several harmonised spectrum bands for electronic communication services. Member States will be required to authorise the use of the “digital dividend” 800 MHz band for wireless broadband by January 2013 in all but exceptional circumstances. By 2015 at least 1200 MHz of spectrum is to be made available for wireless broadband services in the EU.