Feeds

Roll-up! Roll-up! Second money-burning Internet auction on way

This time we're talking broadband fixed wireless

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Final details for the auction of digital radio spectrum that will allow high-speed Internet access have now emerged. There are 51 companies going for 42 licences throughout the UK and initial expectations are that the government could rake in £1 billion. The planned launch date for the auctions has been set back from this summer to a provisional 16 October.

These "broadband fixed wireless access services licences" will allow for fast, permanently connected Internet access without the need for cable or telephone connections and high-capacity data transfer and video conferencing (between 2 and 5 Mbps, apparently) and have been split in two groups. The 28GHz licences are those being discussed currently and a second set of 40GHz licences will be sold next year. There will be three licences each for 14 different areas in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Companies will be only be allowed one license per region but can be in unlimited regions. Each license stands for 15 years.

The initial plans for selling off radio spectra were announced in July last year and the 28/40 GHz split was announced this January. E-minister Patricia Hewitt said in April that the 28GHz licences would be sold off using the same auction method as that for 3G mobile phones. It didn't come as much of a surprise as the system was devised to extract as much money as possible from competing companies.

In the end, the 3G auctioning made £22.5 billion for the Treasury (its knock-on effect on the winners is still being felt - BT's profit fall this week has been part blamed on the extortionate cost of its licence). These upcoming auctions, while hotly contested, are unlikely to provide such a huge windfall as the technology on offer only allows for communication between two fixed points - unlike the roaming mobile technology.

Detailed information on the auctioning was released in June, with a deadline of 17 July for comments. But according to a spokesman at the Radiocommunications Agency (the organisation in charge of selling the licences), such was the feedback by companies that it was forced to push the launch date back from August to October.

The details for the 40GHz licences are still to be decided - as yet the number of licences, rules of the game and selling method are a matter for discussion, although another auction looks likely. They should be available in the second quarter of next year. ®

Related Link

The Radiocommunications Agency (this is a cracking site - everything you want to know, tied together and easy to find)

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?