4/8/2010 10:01:00 AM
Spectrum auction delayed by election
Plans for a 2011 spectrum auction have been thrown into disarray after the Government failed to push through legislation yesterday.
The Statutory Instrument for spectrum liberalisation, which had been making its way through Parliament alongside the Government's Digital Economy Bill, has been put back until after a new Government comes in on May 6.
A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Spokeswoman told Mobile: 'The statutory instrument on spectrum modernisation has been laid in Parliament. There will be no debate before the general election.'
The spectrum legislation was part of the Digital Britain report and needed to be voted on. It is understood that both Ofcom and BIS were hoping it would go through before Parliament is dissolved on Monday (12 April).
The timescale for an auction of spectrum, which would include the band that becomes available when analogue TV is switched off, is very much dependant on the new Government making a decision.
The spectrum auction is set for the first half of 2011. Sources said the date is 'realistic if the directive is made fairly soon', but 'every month that goes by could delay it'.