Policy and Practice in the Americas, Europe and Japan
Edited by Martin Cave and Kiyoshi Nakamura
Chapter 11: Regulation of Digital TV in the EU: Divine Coherence or Human Inconsistency?
Luca Di Mauro INTRODUCTION The EU regulatory framework for digital TV is based on two main pillars: regulation of content and regulation of infrastructure. These two pillars have diﬀerent origins, aims at diﬀerent objectives, and are implemented through diﬀerent legislative means. Regulation of content in the ﬁeld of television broadcasting has primarily been based on the Television Without Frontiers Directive (TVWF). Despite its title, and while its purpose is allegedly to create a single market in the production and distribution of audiovisual content, the Directive introduces a number of restrictions on the provision of audiovisual content. In particular, the Directive has been conceived to support objectives which do not seem to be particularly relevant to, or instrumental to, the objective of developing a single market for broadcasting content: among them, for example, ensuring cultural and linguistic diversity quotas, the protection of minors, of human dignity and of consumers.1 Regulation of the infrastructure needed to convey broadcasting signals has been, on the other hand, increasingly shaped by the phenomenon of convergence. Convergence of technologies, allowed by the adoption of digital signal standards for data transmission, has meant that regulation of infrastructure capable of conveying digital data has had to evolve and adapt. Regulation of this kind has primarily been developed in the EU within the context of telecommunications. Today such regulation has been enshrined in the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications. The distinction between hardware and software therefore remains one of the fundamental characteristics of European regulatory...
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