The Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) is urging CARICOM governments to ensure decisions made in the regional and global forums of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) do not harm the interests of regional broadcasters.
The ITU will stage the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2015 (WRC-15) at which a key agenda item will be whether to include telecommunications users in the lower Ultra High Frequency (UHF) spectrum, which is currently set aside for over-the-air television broadcasters.
In mid-July the CBU issued a letter to CARICOM Heads of Government and Ministers responsible for broadcasting providing them with the results of recent international studies showing that spectrum-sharing in these frequency bands could affect the survival of traditional broadcasters. The CBU also presented the position on the issue published this month by the World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) which groups broadcasters from around the world.
The CBU, with the other Unions that make up the WBU, is asking Caribbean leaders to recognise that current and future broadcast television services could be at risk from international and local interference if the governments represented at WRC-15 vote to share the lower UHF band with services other than broadcasters.
The CBU, supported by the other members of the WBU, is urging CARICOM governments to vote for no change to the current spectrum allocations at UHF frequencies 470 – 698 MHz.
The issue will also be featured during the CBU Annual General Assembly in Paramaribo, Suriname from August 18 to 21. A top expert from the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA) will highlight the likely negative impact of a change to the allocation during the Digital Transition Forum to be presented on Tuesday August 19 in partnership with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).
The Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) was formed in 1970 with a mandate to promote regional integration by stimulating the flow of broadcast material among the radio and television systems in the Caribbean region. The CBU groups forty-three (43) Full and Associate members drawn from twenty-two (22) countries, including broadcasters in the English, Dutch and Spanish-speaking Caribbean focused on capacity-building of media institutions and professionals; joint negotiation of rights for programming; and advocacy in regional and international forums on policy and technology issues.
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