Feeds

BBC jumps gun on Ofcom rethink

Obliquely reports Australian 3G successes

Boost IT visibility and business value

The battle for the digital dividend is far from over, with Viviane Reding firing another salvo in Dublin yesterday, but the BBC yesterday decided to unilaterally declare Ofcom is rethinking the auction in response to received comments.

In an un-bylined piece, originally titled "Ofcom rethinks airwaves sell-off", the BBC reports an Ofcom statement saying they are considering responses to their consultation on the digital dividend, but it also claims that: "Following criticism Ofcom said that it would rethink the sell-off".

This comes as something of a surprise to Ofcom, which has an obligation to consider responses but no intention of changing its plans at the current time.

The BBC piece goes on to parrot Ms Reding's line about Europe needing wireless broadband to connect rural areas, but fails to mention that Ofcom agrees with this position. Ofcom believes the highest bidder will make most efficient use of the spectrum, while EU Commissioner Viviane Reding believes the EU should mandate technology-specific spectrum, as she outlined in her speech at the Irish regulator's annual conference in Dublin:

"It is also clear that we also need to reserve a large share of the dividend for other public interest services and for stimulating economic growth ... I propose a 'fair play' 50:50 rule. That is half the dividend for the broadcasters and half the dividend for the new users."

But that debate is far too complicated for the BBC, which simply explains that the spectrum used for analogue TV transmissions would be great for broadband thanks to its long range and decent in-building penetration. It then goes off into a detailed examination of Telstra's operation in Australia, which has achieved 99 per cent penetration and is connecting some of the most rural communities to the internet.

This would be great if Telstra wasn't using 3G technology, on 2G frequencies, for its deployment - in just the way the European operators are prevented from doing thanks to the technology-specific licences they were originally awarded. But none of this has any bearing on the digital dividend.

The debate about what to do with the newly-available frequencies is complicated, with ideological differences and technical arguments on both sides. Naturally it requires informed opinion and comment, but that's a lot like hard work when you can just make stuff up and talk about how great broadband is for Australian school kids. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.