RSPP Compromise

De La Quadrature du Net

Parliament

EU Council / Parliament 2nd reading

Comments

Negative Changes

(10) Ensuring the optimal and productive use of spectrum as a public good may require the Commission and Member States to put in place innovative authorisation solutions such as collective use of spectrum, general authorisations or infrastructure sharing, besides traditional solutions like auctions. The application of such principles in the Union might be facilitated by identifying best practices and encouraging information sharing, as well as by defining certain common or converging conditions for spectrum usage. General authorisations, which are the most appropriate and least onerous authorisation system, are of particular interest where interference does not risk hampering the development of other services, and most appropriate in accordance with Article 5 of Directive 2002/20/EC.

(10) Easy access to spectrum may require innovative authorisation conditions such as collective use of spectrum, or infrastructure sharing. The application of such principles in the Union might be facilitated by identifying best practices and encouraging information sharing, as well as by defining certain common or converging conditions for spectrum usage. General authorisations, which are the least onerous authorisation system, are of particular interest where interference does not risk hampering the development of other services.

Unfortunate deletion of reference to spectrum as a public good in the context of authorisation solutions, which would favour license-exempt uses of spectrum.

2. Article 4.1. Member States shall foster, in cooperation with the Commission, the collective use of spectrum as well as shared and unlicensed use of spectrum. They shall also foster the development of current and new technologies such as geolocation databases and cognitive radio, for example, in ‘white spaces’ following a proper impact assessments. Those impact assessments shall be undertaken within twelve months of the entry into force of this Decision.

Article 4.1. Member States shall foster, in cooperation with the Commission and where appropriate, the collective use of spectrum as well as shared use of spectrum.

Member States shall also foster the development of current and new technologies, for example, in cognitive radio, including those using "white spaces"

Deletion of “unlicensed”, which is a requirement for a true open spectrum, shared between all interested citizens and businesses. “Where appropriate” creates big loophole that would leave it to Member States to decide whether to foster such shared uses. Deletion of geolocalisation. Deletion of reference to specific time frame regarding white spaces.

RSPP fails to bring any real added value with such wording.

Article 6.7. The Commission shall, in cooperation with Member States, assess the feasibility of extending the allocations of unlicensed spectrum for wireless access systems including radio local area networks established by Decision 2005/513/EC to the entire 5 GHz band.

The Commission is invited to pursue the adopted harmonisation agenda at the relevant international fora, notably the ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences.


Article 6.7. The Commission shall, in cooperation with Member States, assess the justification and feasibility of extending the allocations of unlicensed spectrum for wireless access systems, including radio local area networks.

The introduction of “justification” shows some scepticism regarding the importance of unlicensed uses of spectrum on the part of the Council.

“Justification” already exists.

Positive changes since Council's previous position

Article 4.4. Member States shall intensify R&D activities on new technologies such as cognitive technologies as their development could represent an added-value in the future in terms of efficiency of spectrum use.

Article 4.4. Member States shall foster R&D activities on new technologies such as cognitive technologies and geolocation databases as their development could represent an added-value in the future in terms of efficiency of spectrum use.

Council finally agrees to have reference to R&D on cognitive radio, and to recognize its potential for a more efficient spectrum policy.

Article 6.10. Member States shall, in cooperation with the Commission, examine the possibility of spreading the availability and use of picocells and femtocells. They shall take full account of the potential of those cellular base stations and of shared and unlicensed use of spectrum to provide the basis for wireless mesh networks, which can play a key role in bridging the digital divide.

Article 6.10. Member States shall, in cooperation with the Commission, examine the possibility of spreading the availability and use of picocells and femtocells. They shall take full account of the potential of those cellular base stations and of shared and unlicensed use of spectrum to provide the basis for wireless mesh networks, which can play a key role in bridging the digital divide.

Important amendment mentioning mesh networking and its potential for digital inclusion that the Council finally accepts.