Sunday 6 November 2016

EBU Outlines 5G EU Policy for Public Service Media

5G Can Enhance Public Service Media’s Contribution To The Digital Society
The European Broadcasting Union has published a document outlining an EU policy and
development which can support public service media’s role and contribution to the digital society. Requirements identified by the EBU cannot only be met by technical solutions. A European 5G Policy should reflect a holistic approach says the EBU.

PSM organizations provide a wide range of audiovisual media services, including linear, on-demand, time shifted, hybrid, interactive, personalised services, multi-screen and multi-view, and cross-platform services. European broadcasting standards, including DVB-T2, DVB-S2 and HbbTV in particular, guarantee the highest standards of quality delivery and generate economies of scale.

While on-demand use is growing, traditional live TV still represents the vast majority of total viewing time (about 4 hours a day). Free-to-air Digital Terrestrial TV remains the most widespread platform for TV reception in the EU (it reaches over 250 million viewers), followed by cable, satellite and IPTV distribution. Today, 94% of EBU Members also livestream their TV channels on the Internet.

PSM in the EU invest yearly €16.6 billion in content and this quality content combined with innovative services has been among the key drivers for the take-up of fast and superfast broadband and of the adoption of new consumer technologies. If the 5G econsystem support the whole audiovisual and radio value chain, from content creation and aggregation, over distribution to consumption by users, PSM content and services could play the same role in the adoption of 5G.

5G developments could be an opportunity to find sustainable solutions that will meet future needs of PSM and their audiences as well as other participants of the value chain. In order to make this happen 5G technical development and related policy decisions need to take into account a number of requirements.

PSM should be able to:
• Deliver content to the public without blocking or filtering and without gatekeeping,
• Deliver services without discrimination compared to equivalent services,
• Control and protect content and service, including their online signals and the integrity,
• Define the geographical availabilityof their services,
• Reach audiences in emergency situations,
• Have unimpeded access to audience data generated of their services,
• Develop suitable business models to ensure universal availability of PSM content and services.

As for all distribution networks it is crucial that distribution costs are transparent, predictable and affordable. The higher these costs are the less PSM can invest in content.

Requirements identified by the EBU cannot only be met by technical solutions. A European 5G Policy should reflect a holistic approach. Among those objectives mentioned in the document are 

• Support the development of an open and interoperable 5G technology platform
• Be a vehicle towards cooperative use of broadcast and broadband infrastructures,
• Bridge the gap between technology research and the creative sectors.

Read the full text of the document here