Feeds

Government backs Ofcom against EU regulator plan

No to EU overlord regulator

Business security measures using SSL

The UK government is banding together with France and Germany to reiterate its opposition to the idea of an EU-wide regulator, so beloved of communications commissioner Viviane Reding.

The details come in a written statement from Baroness Vadera, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business and Competitiveness, who makes it abundantly clear where the British government stands:

...the Government have never been convinced of the case for a new pan-EU regulator ... You will be reassured to know that none of my opposite numbers in other member states, or indeed the views from the European Parliament, support the Commission’s original proposals.

To avoid ceding too much power to the EU without rejecting it completely, the good Baroness agreed to set up "...a much smaller entity comprising of the chairs of all 27 National Regulatory Authorities complemented by a small permanent secretariat appropriate only to undertake the revised remit".

Ofcom has long been adamant that the best way to ensure the maximum value of spectrum is to sell if off to the highest bidder, and let them do with it as they wish. But Viviane Reding is equally adamant that pan-European services are the only way to achieve economies of scale that can bring down the cost of hardware. This is an ideological difference, without much in the way of middle ground for agreement.

There are still bands in the 3G spectrum that lie unused in the UK: everyone except Vodafone paid for spectrum that is restricted by regulation to TDD services that none of them ever deployed. This is clearly insane, especially given the amount paid for the spectrum, but then if it weren't for harmonisation enforced with regulation those frequencies probably wouldn't have been worth so much.

Ofcom points out that GSM already operates on five different frequencies, and most handsets can switch between most of those, so frequency harmonisation isn't as important as it once was. Not to mention that if one assumes we're all going to be using software-defined radios soon then everyone will be able to do everything anyway – and that's an assumption Ofcom is willing to make.

The fact that the government is backing Ofcom's corner comes as no surprise, and bodes well for Qualcomm introducing MediaFLO when Viviane Reding would prefer to see DVB-H across Europe, and if the government can keep the EU talking while Ofcom sells the digital dividend then it will be too late to harmonise anything anyway. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.