Feeds

Government backs Ofcom against EU regulator plan

No to EU overlord regulator

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.