Feeds

EU to 'guide' local regulators on digital dividend

Mme Reding readies big stick for Ofcom

The Power of One Infographic

EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding will produce a set of guidelines for countries planning to sell off their analogue TV spectrum, in the interests of ensuring a reasonable return on investment.

The latest salvo in the ideological war between the EU and local regulators saw Ms Reding assuring ministers that she'll be publishing the guidelines at the end of this summer. They'll set out how frequency harmonisation will lead to a better return for investors, and thus guarantee that investment.

Cleverly the Telecoms Commissioner didn't mention harmonisation at all, instead focusing on "give[ing] certainty to investors on their return on investments over a reasonable timeframe". She also wants to see enforced roaming, such as that used in the current Canadian auction, to help new entrants get a leg up.

That's fine if one assumes that new services are going to be much like the old ones, but I'm not sure I'd want my Kindle roaming to a voice network or my mobile TV attaching itself to someone's 3G infrastructure.

Ofcom, the UK regulator, wants to see spectrum auctioned off without regulation so buyers (sorry, "licensees") can do what they want with it. Harmonisation would see specific frequencies reserved for particular applications, such as the DVB-H standard for mobile TV that Viviane is so keen to promote.

Ministers are today debating the creation of a new regulatory body to handle spectrum across Europe, though just about everyone is opposed to the super-regulator originally proposed and some form of working group comprised of the heads of the regional regulators now seems more likely.

The Telecoms Commissioner has proposed a set of measures aimed at centralising control of spectrum, but those won't come in to law for years - while Ofcom is planning to sell off the digital dividend in 12 months.

The guidelines should be out by the end of this summer. They won't be legally enforceable, though Ofcom will be required to take note of them or at least explain why it's choosing not to. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.