Lausunto Liikenne- ja viestintäministeriölle koskien UHF-aluetta 790 – 862 MHz koskevan sääntelyn uudistamista

Publicerad 2.6.2008

Saamamme tiedon mukaan Liikenne- ja viestintäministeriö ehdottaa, että analogiselta televisiolta vapautuneita taajuuksia koskevaa sääntelyä uudistettaisiin niin, että UHF-alue 790 – 862 MHz osoitettaisiin laajakaistaisille digitaalisille 800-matkaviestinverkoille. Uudistus toteutettaisiin televisio- ja radiotoimintaan sekä toimiluvanvaraiseen teletoimintaan määrättyjen taajuusalueiden käyttösuunnitelmasta annetun asetuksen (680/2007) nopealla muutoksella. Uusi taajuussuunnitelma on tarkoitus käsitellä valtioneuvoston asetuksen muutoksena siten, että se tulisi voimaan heinäkuun alussa.

Ministeriö on lähettänyt ehdotuksen lausuntokierrokselle, joka lausuntopyynnön mukaan on osoitettu teleyrityksille ja ”muille taajuusalueiden käyttäjäryhmille”. Lausuntopyyntö ei ole kuitenkaan tavoittanut valtavaa osaa niistä tahoista, joita uudistus välittömästi koskee.

Asiaa ministeriöstä tiedusteltaessa annettiin ymmärtää, että asiaa on riittävästi selvitetty, ja että asetuksen muutoksilla ei tule olemaan käytännössä vaikutusta langattomien mikrofonien käyttöön lähivuosina. Se reaktio, joka esittävän taiteen alalla syntyi kun ehdotetuista uudistuksista saatiin aivan viime hetkessä tieto, ei kuitenkaan tue tätä käsitystä.

Langattomia mikrofoneja kyseisellä taajuusalueella käyttäville tahoille ei riitä summittainen arvio siitä, että uudistuksella ei ole ”lähitulevaisuudessa” todennäköisesti välitöntä vaikutusta esitystekniikkaan, jonka toimiminen on valtavalle osalle esittävää taidetta aivan välttämätön elinehto nykypäivänä. Koko teatterin, musikaalin, oopperan ja muun esittävän säveltaiteen kenttä niin teattereissa, konserttisaleissa kuin festivaaleillakin toimii suurelta osin nykyisessä esitystekniikassa erilaisten langattomien järjestelmien varassa.

Allekirjoittaneet vaativat, että asian vaikutuspiirissä oleville tahoille on varattava riittävästi aikaa selvittää ehdotettujen uudistusten vaikutukset ja antaa asiassa huolellisesti valmistellut lausunnot, jotka otetaan asiasta päätettäessä asiallisesti ja hyvän hallintomenettelyn edellyttämällä tavalla huomioon.

Ehdotetuista muutoksista ei missään nimessä tule tehdä päätöksiä ennen kuin ehdotetun uudistuksen vaikutukset on huolellisesti selvitetty.

Helsingissä 2. kesäkuuta 2008

Matti Holopainen                                 Aila Sauramo

toimitusjohtaja                                     toiminnanjohtaja

Suomen Teatterit ry                            Suomen Sinfoniaorkesterit ry

 

Asiaan liittyvä Euroopan esittävien taiteiden työnantajajärjestön PEARLE*:n lausunto:

 

Brussels, 14 November 2007

Radio spectrum management
The use of wireless microphones in the live performance sector

1.   Introduction

 

1. Pearle*,the European federation representing nearly 4000 performing arts organisations across Europe, has taken note of the public consultation of the European Commission, calling for proposals for work items to be included in the Work Programme 2008 of the Radio Spectrum Committee.

 2. Pearle* very much welcomes that the European Commission invites stakeholders to bring forward proposals which are of relevance in the work that the RSC, the RSPG and the CEPT are undertaking to establish an EU-wide managed radio spectrum.

 3. The process and in particular the possible implications of Radio Spectrum Management came to our attention at the end of 2006 when our sector was informed by the consequences for our sector by a consortium of companies in supplying wireless microphone applications in Germany. At the same time it was noted that also in the UK the issue was put on the agenda of our trade associations, who are confronted with a model that intends to invite interested parties to become involved in a bidding process for radio frequencies at an auction. Pearle* members then studied the use of wireless microphones in the sector and the impact that the harmonisation measures would have.

 2.   An important group of primary users

 4. Wireless microphones are critically important to the live performance our sector.  Indeed, no live performance venue can operate without them.  For the audience, the most obvious use is for the amplification of voice and instruments used in performance itself.  Without wireless microphones, many performances would be inaudible (particularly in the larger venues).  Microphones are used not only for musicals, but often also for plays and even for opera, where some less obvious degree of sound enhancement may be necessary to overcome otherwise acoustically ‘dead’ areas within an auditorium.

 5. The second, equally important application, is for communication back-stage and front-of-house throughout performances, whether they take place in theatres, arts/cultural centres, arenas, or in ‘found’ spaces used for site-specific work.  Radio communication systems are not only essential to the technical process of a performance.  They also constitute the main channel for conveying real-time information from one part of the venue to another, not least with reference to health and safety aspects of venue management and to audience safety in particular.


6. The sector is very broad and extremely divers, which makes it hard to put alongside well-defined business operators in the telecom sector. What makes the group of live performance users unique is the mix of both commercial enterprises and non-commercial, non-profit, subsidized performing arts organisations. The economic value of the sector is therefore extremely difficult to value. A study[1]commissioned by DG Education and Culture , published in 2006, indicates that the whole cultural sector accounts for 2,6% of GDP (in 2003) and employs 5,8 million people (according to a very recent Eurostat Eurobarometer[2]publication 4,9 million). However the direct economic value of the live performance sector itself is little compared to big multinational enterprises operating in telecommunications and related industries.

 7. In general the sector is valued for the impact it generates on other fields of economy, such as: tourism, bars, restaurants, hotels, housing, shops, etcetera. An example : a West End theatre (according to the Wyndham report -1998) has an economic impact of more than 1,5 million €, compared with direct expenditure on tickets of a little over 375 million €.

It should be noted that the economics of the performing arts have their own rational: besides the high investment costs for setting up a show, more performances (higher production) will not lead to more income and lower costs. In fact many commercial theatres have very little profit, some commercial but most subsidized performances lose all their investment, because ticket income cannot break-even the investment costs. This is contradictory to the economic principles when producing a good.

 8. The live performance sector in Europe is almost entirely a subsidized sector, because public authorities across Europe value the contribution that culture and the arts make to society in all its aspects. This notion has also been recognised by the European Community, in particular in the article 151.4 of the Treaty, which states that “the Community shall take cultural aspects into account in its actions under other provisions of the Treaty, in order to respect and to promote the diversity of its cultures”.

 3.   Guaranteeing a range of analogue radio frequencies

 9. The use of wireless microphones in the live performance sector is very particular and has to respond to technical conditions, which are necessary to present a high quality performance.

 10. First, the use of wireless microphones relies on the analogue spectrum. The use of digital frequencies is not an option, since the amplification of the sound comes with a time-delay of one or two seconds between the transmission of the signal and its receipt, making it impossible to synchronise music with the sung or spoken word.  Changes in the analogue band-width available for live performances would mean that the equipment currently used would have to be replaced at a level of investment that would for many companies be beyond their financial strength.

 11. Secondly, live performance shows usually need between 20 to 30 channels, sometimes up to 60 channels for big musical productions, with a required transmission range between 50 and 60 metres. They all are operating only on analogue frequencies. Should these frequencies be allocated to another user group, they can then no longer be used in the live performance sector as parallel usage of digital frequencies is simply not on option for our sector.

 12. Thirdly, the use of analogue frequencies is not an end in itself, it is a support for ensuring a good performance to be enjoyed by its audience. In other words, the radio spectrum has no economic value in itself, as is the case for other industries. Therefore, the intention of Member States, such as the UK, to auction the radio spectrum, would have disastrous implications for the performing arts, as this sector is totally incapable to compete with telecom and related industries.

 13. Because of these implications, which are a necessary condition for the functioning an operation of live performance shows, it is essential that the sector is guaranteed a frequency spectrum range for usage of cultural purposes.

 4.   Conclusion

 14. With a view to the work programme of the RSC and the on-going work regarding the harmonisation of the radio spectrum in Europe Pearle* underlines the need to recognise the importance of this primary group of users of analogue spectrum and asks the Commission to take into consideration the cultural aspects.

 15. Secondly, Pearle* stresses the need to safeguard some spectrum out of the range for allocation to other users. The live performance sector can only rely on the analogue spectrum. This is essential for the sustainability of the sector. Any changes to the current system would be detrimental for the functioning of the sector in terms of quality of the output (performances and shows) and in terms of investment (new equipment or auction of the spectrum).

 16. Therefore Pearle* would very much welcome that this particular problem is addressed by the Committee in the Work Programme 2008, taking into the account the Commission’s overall objective to ensure the most efficient use of the spectrum in all its aspects.

 

 [1] Study on ‘Economy of culture in Europe’, prepared for the European Commission, DG Culture and Education, KEA Consultants - October 2006; http://ec.europa.eu/culture/eac/sources_info/studies/economy_en.html

 

[2] European Commission - Special Eurobarometer 278, wave EB67.1: "European Cultural Values". October 2007. Available from: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/eb_special_en.htm

 

 

 

 

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