To seize upon US $28 billion-$70 billion in economic benefits that are expected to come from the reclamation of analog television broadcast spectrum, the European Commission (EC) has issued a consultative document that lays out short-term plans for Europe’s transition to digital television and a long-term “roadmap” of “common, coordinated actions” to promote development of former analog TV channels for broadband and other new services. In remarks accompanying the document’s release, EC Media and Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding observed that the “digital dividend” to result from the transition to DTV “comes at a critical moment when we want to connect all parts of Europe to high-speed broadband, ensure high-quality broadcasting, and expand consumer choice in future wireless services.” As such, Reding declared that “Europe will only achieve all of this if it adopts a coordinated approach using radio spectrum in the most efficient way.” As a first priority, EC member states would be asked to accelerate efforts to end analog TV broadcasts by January 1, 2012. They would also be asked to make available vacated analog spectrum in the 790-862 MHz band by adopting “as soon as possible” harmonized technical conditions to be implemented by the EC for usage of that spectrum. Among other things, the EC’s long-term roadmap would address the following: (1) promulgation of “high-quality standards for terrestrial digital television receivers in Europe, (2) promotion of spectrum efficiency to increase the amount of available bandwidth, (3) opening of the 790-862 MHz band for low- and medium-power networks “under harmonized technical conditions, following the principle of technology and service neutrality, (4) adoption of a common policy on digital “white spaces,” and (5) effective crossborder coordination. Comments are due by September 4, and the EC expects to incorporate the document’s proposals into a wider spectrum action program to be submitted to the European Parliament and Council next year.