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Korea Communication Commission to Overhaul Frequency Usage, Allotment

Korea Communication Commission to Overhaul Frequency Usage, Allotment

Posted May. 07, 2008 08:17,   


The Korea Communications Commission is reportedly pushing ahead with a plan to overhaul the current allotted frequencies. Commissioner Choi Si-jung announced yesterday, “We will root out anachronistic regulations governing the broadcasting and communication industries. We will let the market determine how to assign frequencies. This will allow us to lay the foundation for fair competition between the two industries.”

Addressing attendees at the Seoul Digital Forum luncheon meeting held at the Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul yesterday, Choi stressed, “We will do whatever it takes to advance the industries. Renovation of the current systems and laws will facilitate new growth with the merger of the two.”

The commission reportedly intends to take back three major bandwidths, specifically the 700MHz width for analog broadcasting to be ended in 2012 for digitalization, the 900MHz bandwidth used for military and relaying purposes, and the 800MHz bandwidth used by SK Telecom, whose license is to expire in June 2011. The commission plans to revamp the allocation system for a new type of communications service.

A senior commission official explained, “Digital broadcasting starts full-scale in 2012. We have to begin to make relevant preparations beginning this year, preparations that are comprehensive enough to overhaul TV frequencies. We plan to end licenses for frequencies in low use, and reassign them to new broadcasting services. Then, we believe we can better serve the public with more choices for them.”

Park Yun-hyeon, who is in charge of frequency policy at the commission, commented, “Market principles will govern our reorganization efforts. We are considering implementing an auction system for the frequencies. We will explore the matter in various ways, focusing on economic validity and fairness.”

Hankook University of Foreign Language Studies professor Kim Wu-ryong pointed out, “Despite the scarcity of resources in communication frequencies, previous administrations cared about their convenience more than productivity and efficiency. Broadcasting companies air what is called ‘Standard FM,’ which is virtually same as AM radio. Lots of things overlap and, therefore, investments are not unique. It’s time to overhaul the entire system.”