6/16/2009 11:45:00 AM
Digital Britain report published today
Lord Stephen Carter’s Digital Britain report will be revealed today (16 June).
The report will lay out the Government’s plans for a minimum of 2Mbps broadband in time for the 2012 Olympics.
Carter, who is the Communications Minister, will reveal a solution to provide broadband for all households across the UK, even in the most isolated areas, through a combination of mobile and fixed-line services.
Mobile operators have been involved in discussions over achieving the goal of universal broadband access since the report’s initial launch in January.
But there have been disputes between operators over spectrum. Carter’s adviser and former Ofcom executive, Kip Meek, was recruited in January to suggest a solution that could be imposed on the networks.
Among Meek’s proposals was the recommendation that 900MHz spectrum holders Vodafone and O2 be banned from buying any of the 800MHz band, which will be available in 2010 when analogue TV is switched off, unless they relinquish some of their current spectrum.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile and Orange will not be forced to give up any of their 1800MHz band, but will be capped on how much of the 800MHz and 2.6GHz (also available in 2010) they can buy. 3 and the remaining operators will be able to bid freely for the 800MHz, 2.6GHz, or any spectrum that the other operators choose to give up.
Sources said there could be a ‘first mover advantage’ in terms of bidding for any potential spectrum, as it will be impossible to refarm the 900MHz band until T-Mobile and Orange can secure some of the 800MHz spectrum.