Ofcom publishes its conclusion to the Spectrum Framework Review
(posted 29 June 2005)
Read the full Ofcom Spectrum Framework Review Statement here∞
Ofcom press release: 28|06|05 | Ofcom approach to spectrum management |
Ofcom today published the conclusion of its Spectrum Framework Review, setting out its approach to the future management of radio spectrum in the UK. The Review advocates a market-led approach, in contrast to the previous regime under which the regulator decided the type of organisation that should have access to specific parts of the spectrum, and how they should be used. Ofcom’s proposals were subject to public consultation and were broadly supported by stakeholders.
Ofcom has a range of duties relating to radio spectrum under the Communications Act 2003. These include a need to secure the optimal use of spectrum, to maximise the economic benefits from its use and to take into account the needs of all users. Ofcom also has an ambition to make the UK a world leader in innovation and investment in wireless communications services.
The Spectrum Framework Review set out four key recommendations to achieve these duties and aims:
1. Allow the market to decide on the best use and user for much of the spectrum.
2. Allow licence holders to trade spectrum in an open market and change the use they make of it in order to develop new technologies and offer innovative services.
3. Clearly define the rights of spectrum users, giving them the confidence to plan for the future.
4. Increase the amount of licence-exempt spectrum where feasible and appropriate to allow businesses to develop new technologies and services without the need for a licence.
Over time Ofcom will apply this market-led approach to more than 70% of the radio spectrum. However, it will maintain existing regulatory controls where:
* signals cross international boundaries;
* international mobility is critical, for example in aviation and maritime; and/or
* the UK has agreed to harmonise spectrum use in line with important multinational accords.
Ofcom will continue to monitor and act against interference between spectrum users. It will introduce trading and liberalisation in a phased way, intervening where necessary to make sure that these initiatives do not result in excessive harmful interference for other users.
In January 2005 Ofcom consulted on initial proposals to make a significant number of spectrum bands available to the market over the next few years. The consultation also outlined options for extending spectrum trading and liberalisation to mobile telecommunications and fixed wireless broadband services. Ofcom will publish an update on these aspects of spectrum management later this summer.
- Press release on Ofcom website here∞
29 June 2005 | Dugie Standeford | Communications Daily (Washington, USA) | (subscription service)
See Communications Daily website (subscription) here∞
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