Feeds

Govt tries to sell fixed wireless licences for fourth time

This time they're giving companies 12 months to buy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The government is trying for the fourth time to get people interested in the licences that offer fixed wireless access. Let's hope it's a bit more successful this time.

The people behind the licence sale, the Radiocommunications Agency, got together last month for a seminar over broadband fixed wireless access (BFWA) and plucked up enough courage to have another stab at it. New legislation will kick in next week that will see them go up for sale again.

The original auction for the 15-year 28GHz licences was held in November 2000, having already been delayed for six months. It was a complete shambles. Only eight bidders entered the auction and only 16 of the 42 licences were actually sold. Only a minority of these received more than one bid.

The net result was that the government made the grand total of £38.2 million, when it had originally expected £2 billion.

The e-minister at the time, Patricia Hewitt (now trade secretary), went to ground but reappeared in February to try to persuade people to buy them. Nothing happened. The elusive new e-minister Douglas Alexander tried again in July this year.

The problem was that the DTi refused to change its model for selling the licences, most likely out of pride. It did behave less arrogantly towards potential bidders but that still wasn't enough to get people to actually buy them.

Now, however, the government will give companies 12 months to buy any of the licences. There remains a minimum bid of £1 million or £2 million, depending on the region, but it has ditched the auction approach. If a company puts in a bid now, and no one else enters the fray within 20 days, their bid will be accepted.

It's a far cry from the government that was still rolling around in the proceeds from the 3G auction when they first launched the wireless auction.

The prospects for the licences look good though. You own them for 15 years for one thing so even if it doesn't make financial sense at the moment, it will at some point. Plus ADSL roll-out will remain painfully slow for the next few years so there's an opportunity there.

We wish them all the best. If you want to know more, go here. ®

Related Links

Big rundown on the auctions
Spectrum Auctions.gov.uk

Related Stories

E-minister flogs dead wireless licence horse
E-minister has another stab at selling wireless licences
E-minister puts brave face on auction farce
Fixed wireless auction a complete shambles
Fixed wireless auction is go! go! go!
Roll-up! Roll-up! Second money-burning Internet auction on way

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.