4/15/2009 5:16:00 PM
Digital Britain stalls as operators compete over spectrum
Stephen Carter’s plans to bring broadband to every British household appear to have hit the rocks amid competing and complex agendas from the different mobile operators.
At the heart of the dispute is the future of the 900MHz radio spectrum, which Vodafone and O2 currently hold, and rival mobile operators want to gain access to.
There is also the matter of the so-called ‘digital dividend’ – the spectrum currently used for analogue TV that mobile operators want to be given when TV switches to digital.
Carter has threatened to impose a Government proposal on operators if they fail to find an agreement on spectrum. He outlined his vision of 2Mbps broadband speeds for everyone through fixed and mobile providers in January.
Carter’s internet advisor, Kip Meek, is leading negotiations with operators to ring fence some of their capacity so that it can be opened up, transporting broadband to rural areas.