Dutch govt to come out with media policy next year

Thursday 12 October 2017 | 15:59 CET | News

The Dutch government will publish a new Nota for Broadcasting Distribution by mid-2018, with the cabinet’s vision on broadcasting distribution for the next five to ten years. Dutch Minister Henk Kamp made the statement to the Lower House of Parliament. Parliament held a consultation on 24 May 2016. The ministries of economic affairs and education, culture and science then wrote draft bills for broadcasting and frequency policy, both of which were badly received in the market. The new government cabinet will now have to take it all up again.

The ministry of economic affairs did give a brief overview of developments in two specific areas, namely around broadcasting licenses and the PMSE (Program Making and Special Events).

Thorough analysis needed for broadcasting distribution

About the broadcasting market, the ministry of economic affairs noted there was no longer a "classic" RTV market with public broadcasters and linear distribution. There are a multitude of players, with broadcasters such as Talpa, Netflix and Liberty Global. There are also distributors such as KPN and VodafoneZiggo, which are becoming more active. Finally, parties such as Google and Facebook are also claiming a role. 

In addition, more and more companies are point to the need for access to fixed and mobile networks. The dominant position of (converged) network providers also deserves attention. Therefore, it is necessary to reboot the whole thing. The ministry of economic affairs will conduct (new) talks with stakeholders and weigh the previous contributions to a new policy paper.  

The cabinet will have little room to do anything about ether licenses. License conditions for radio have recently been renewed. KPN has received a DVB-T2 license set to runs until 2030. 

Looking for solutions around microphones

For the PMSE sector, a solution must be found soon for microphones and other wireless equipment on a local level, and for connections from location “back to studio in Hilversum” on a regional level.

The 800 MHz band is no longer available for this. The sector has been expanded to the upper part of the UHF band (470-862 MHz), but in a few years, this will no longer be possible. The Dutch government is working on an action plan. That plan will be in line with international policy (the PMSE issue plays across Europe) from the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) in Geneva.

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