Earlier this year, the European Parliament and Council adopted a decision establishing the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP) which sets out measures to be taken by the Member States and the European Commission for the strategic planning and harmonisation of the use of spectrum. The RSPP is designed to ensure the functioning of the internal market in the EU policy areas involving the use of spectrum, including, in particular, electronic communications.
The Commission considers that wireless connectivity is becoming increasingly important in the economy. To satisfy growing demand, more efficient use of the spectrum needed for wireless connectivity and innovation are crucial. Within the next decade, technological progress may enable an increasing number of users to share simultaneous rights of access to a specific frequency band. In the Commission’s view, the regulatory environment must allow this to happen.
In accordance with the RSPP, on 3 September 2012, the European Commission published a Communication on promoting the shared use of radio spectrum in the internal market. The shared use of spectrum involves different users all enjoying the right to use a given frequency band in a variety of different relationships. The Commission’s vision is to make additional spectrum resources available and lowers spectrum access hurdles for new users. This will require the removal of current regulatory barriers to deploying innovative radio access technologies and, in the Commission’s view, the active facilitation of sharing.