B'casters urged to take 50% of digital dividend

EU's Viviane Reding says half needed for switchover

BRUSSELS -- Broadcasters should take half of the so-called digital dividend of radio frequencies when they are released across Europe, EU Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding said Wednesday.

Speaking in Dublin, Reding said it is the only way to cut the Gordian Knot of how to share the spectrum released by the switchover from analog to digital broadcasting. She said that broadcasting needs its half share to develop new services, in particular HDTV, interactive services and mobile TV.

Reding said the other half of the digital dividend should go to other wireless services, ranging from mobile phone operators to air traffic controllers.