Secure broadcasting frequencies for media and culture in Germany
Berlin/Frankfurt/Luxembourg, October 22, 2021 – Broadcasting is fundamental to freedom of the media and freedom of expression, and a vibrant culture is indispensable for a democratic society – this has become clear not only in the Covid-19-crisis. However, the media and the cultural sector are coming under increasing pressure because the necessary broadcasting UHF-frequencies are being disputed. The newly founded “Alliance for Broadcasting and Cultural Frequencies” (Allianz für Rundfunk- und Kulturfrequenzen) in Germany is therefore campaigning, especially with political decision-makers, to preserve the proven frequency spectrum and thus the diversity of media and culture in the long term. This aspect must also be part of Germany´s position at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23).
Maintaining frequency spectrum for media and culture
At the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023, a decision will be made on the future use of the UHF spectrum in the 470 – 694 MHz range, and thus on the future of terrestrial broadcasting and cultural frequencies. A loss of the frequencies would have a direct impact on the viewers of terrestrial broadcasting and the visitors of thousands of cultural institutions all over Europe. In addition, many artists, musicians, journalists and many other groups would be affected.
Until now, broadcasting and users of radio microphones (and other wireless means of production) have used the spectrum in the 470 – 694 MHz range in interference-free coexistence. This safeguards information, especially in the event of a disaster, as well as the European event, trade fair, cultural and creative industries.
Due to its particularly good characteristics, the spectrum is also demanded by other groups: the mobile phone industry, the military, and organizations with security tasks claim the frequencies for themselves. The results of the World Radiocommunication Conference will be decisive for the future scenarios of the use of frequency in Germany.
Kick-off event on December 1, 2021
An initial, high-profile online conference on the background and challenges for broadcasting and cultural frequencies will take place on December 1, 2021, 2 – 3:30 pm in German language. It is aimed at federal and state policy makers, European and international spectrum bodies, authorities dealing with spectrum issues, press/media and the interested public. Please register under this link
Founding members from media, culture and industry
The founding members of the Alliance for Broadcasting and Cultural Frequencies include ARD, Deutschlandradio, Media Broadcast, the German Media Authorities (Medienanstalten), the SOS – Save Our Spectrum initiative, Sennheiser, VAUNET – German Media Association, ZDF and the German Electro and Digital Industry Association ZVEI e.V.
Broadcasting frequencies for terrestrial broadcasting and transmission technology at events – and the desires of other players
Broadcasters need the UHF frequencies to transmit their information and offers simply, cost-effectively and reliably to the population by terrestrial means, not least in the event of crises or natural disasters; in the future, there will be further demand for 5G broadcasting.
At cultural events, but also at trade fairs or teaching events at universities, UHF frequencies are indispensable for interference-free transmission for radio microphones, In-ear systems and other wireless production equipment. Other users of UHF frequencies in Germany are the weather service and the astronomy.
However, due to their good technical characteristics, UHF frequencies are in high demand. the mobile phone industry, the military, and organizations with security tasks are therefore pushing for a redistribution of resources. Unlike the existing users, however, no joint, “symbiotic” use of frequencies would be possible here. Instead, the loss of the important frequencies would massively impair the distribution of terrestrial broadcasting services and the staging of cultural events – and thus also damage diversity in media and culture in Germany.