Broadcasters Call for ITU Action on Satellite Jamming

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PARIS — Five international television and radio broadcasters called on international regulators Dec. 7 to address the issue of intentional satellite signal interference when they meet in January.

The joint statement issued by the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Audiovisuel Exterieur de la France, Radio Netherlands Worldwide and Voice of America specifically mentioned Iran. The BBC, Voice of America and satellite operator Eutelsat of France have accused Iran of jamming satellite signals beaming news broadcasts.

The statement, issued following a meeting in London of the five companies’ directors, said: “We have seen an escalation this year in the number of pressure tactics that have been used on the media being accessed by audiences in Iran and other countries,” in particular the jamming of Persian-language broadcasts into Iran.

“We call upon the regulatory authorities to take action against those who deliberately cause interference to satellite signals on the grounds that this is contrary to international conventions for the use of satellites,” they said. “We specifically ask national telecommunications authorities to take up the issue at an upcoming meeting of the International Telecommunication Union [ITU] in Geneva.

“We also call upon satellite operators and service providers to recognize the importance of the role they play in ensuring the free flow of information.”

The triennial World Radiocommunication Conference is scheduled to start in January in Geneva.