Government backs Ofcom against EU regulator plan
No to EU overlord regulator
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. ®
Although many in the UK resist european ideas, this is one we should not dismiss so easily.
If for no other reason than the fact that Ofcom does not represent the consumer in any realistic way, they are another quango there to so that we can be told we have a voice.
At least our european chums are not ready to be sold out to big business as seems to the standard practice in the UK.
If it were not for europe we would still be paying silly roaming rates, and if we want to see better roaming data rates, perhaps a regulator at the international level that the telcos are at would be a good thing.
Doesn't bother me as off to live in mainland europe anyway, you can keep you toothless ofcom.
BBC Outed ....
"we need to have permanant and ongoing Uk wide digital Tv, broadband, and other high tech experaments and for that we need a set of several wireless freqs that any Uk companys can ask to use and run their trials on, simple really..." ... By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 11th June 2008 14:40 GMT
I think you will find that the BBC Royal Charter and Agreement was set up to expressly facilitate such use, AC, although the BBC Management/Trust/Controllers would probably suggests otherwise, but that is only to protect themselves from the revelation that they have been misusing public funds for their own private gratifications/business enterprises.
the rent boys dont matter, multi national cash is always welcome to the Govt
By mikePosted Wednesday 11th June 2008 10:17 GMT the spectrum covers much more than mobile phones look at the mess over TV in the UK changing from a system thats works to one that at best is flacky Digital TV and radio is not stable vision and audio break up ofcom have really made a c***e up by forcing people to change for change sake. mines the one with the transmitter in the pocket"
the fact is Mike, its not chance for changes sake, its for making as much money as they can get, and that means that no small or even medium sized UK companys owned by Uk people,run by Uk people, employing Uk people, can ever hope to buy any of this freed up wireless frequences to be put to good use in any consumer inovations such as last mile (not mearly 300 feet, independent of BT/VM telecoms etc) wireless community fixed fee broadband as one single example.
By Anonymous CowardPosted Wednesday 11th June 2008 08:58 GMT I am still very unsure which (if either) is the right way to approach spectrum allocation. Do we even need a GSM style carve up if we can all channel hop as required ? Some informed comment would be handy here kids.
yes you can channel hope for todays kit, but thats not the point if you as an end user want real inovation , to increase your mobile data throughput, they Need to combine these seperate digital freqs into a bigger chunk, they cant do that and get top price for the total alloted.
this is not good for any form of small/medium UK based business to use,i wont say Own because no matter what the current Govt or compays say, these wireless freqs are the property of the the UK people, and we should be getting far more say in what we want them used for....
taking al the analogue Tv freqs and only barely giving them enough back to run the current PAL DVB-T spec is a crime, they need to ensure that theres far more to use in the future for several full UK wide tech trials for HD and other innovations etc they can then rake in for profit on a seperate freqs set aside for the perpose....
we need to have permanant and ongoing Uk wide digital Tv, broadband, and other high tech experaments and for that we need a set of several wireless freqs that any Uk companys can ask to use and run their trials on, simple really...
if we have these freqs set aside instead of selling them off to any US/EU mega companys that have the cash or can raise it off their mates/bankers etc, and the end users have acces to this kit that have these tuners,wireless chips and RJ45 wired ports in all the generic kit sold, we could be far advanced and exporting this tech to other countrys instead of being the rent boys we are becoming in todays US owned companys board of directors.
UK cable beig a case on point, the EU market place is wide open, you can pop online and buy a PC cable card for DVB-C nice and cheap, you cant actully use in in the UK though as the Virgin Media company dont allow you to plug it in and use your payed for subscription card in it to watch your payed for DVB-C Tv on your PC or LAN stream the digital feed over your wireless LAN.
its the same for stand alone 3rd party cable STBs ,its the same for cable modems,
so your open EU free market place and rules dont help you in the slightest when it comes to choice of cable usage, the same will happen for the wireless freq sell off, if you have the cash to buy the airwaves and are a non Uk super company your fine, if your a smal/mediam Uk company or end user your stuck with whatever you can rent off them companies in the futeure if they see fit to supply you with an item...