News from the seminar on Ofcom's Spectrum Framework Review Implementation Plan, held 16 March 2005

Spectrum Framework Review Implementation Plan

Ofcom published its Spectrum Framework Review (SFR) in November 2004. This extends and consolidates earlier publications relating to spectrum management, especially those making it possible for licensees to buy and sell spectrum in the market (“spectrum trading???) and reducing or removing unnecessary restrictions and constraints on spectrum use (“spectrum liberalisation???).

The Spectrum Framework Review Implementation Plan was published in January 2005 and was open to public consultation until 24 March. This document addresses how the vision for spectrum management set out in the SFR can be implemented in two key areas. It meets Ofcom’s commitment to provide a “roadmap??? for these changes in spectrum management.

Ofcom hosted a seminar on 16 March 2005 for Intellect and BSG members to explore the commercial opportunities which new spectrum awards will create for businesses in the UK and examine how best to facilitate the delivery of this new framework in practice.

Ofcom Spectrum Framework Review Implementation Plan

WEF Report on Global Information Technology

Singapore is the world’s top economy in exploiting global IT developments, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report. The US ceded its top spot and dropped to fifth place, while the Nordic countries continued their impressive track record. Asia performed extremely well this year, as did Estonia, South Africa and Israel in their respective regions. The UK is ranked in 12th place.

WEF Report on Global Information Technology

BT boosts its broadband packages

British Telecom has said it will double the broadband speeds of most of its home and business customers.

The increased speeds will come at no extra charge and follows a similar move by internet service provider AOL.

Many BT customers will now have download speeds of 2Mbps, although there are usage allowances of between one gigabyte and 30 gigabytes a month.

The new speeds start to come into effect on 17 February for home customers and 1 April for businesses.

BT boosts its broadband packages

Ofcom Review of Universal Service requirements

Ofcom has just published [10 January 2005] its Review of the Unversal Service Obligation. The Universal Service regulation ensures that basic fixed line telecoms services are available to all UK consumers at an affordable price.

Under sections 66 and 67 of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom requires BT and Kingston Communications to provide a range of universal services including:

  • Public call boxes;
  • Low cost schemes to help those on low incomes;
  • Telephone lines capable of delivering dial up internet access;
  • Special services for people with disabilities.

This consultation seeks views on proposals which are designed to ensure that existing universal services requirements keep pace with developments in technology and with changes to consumers” needs.

Ofcom review of the Unversal Service Obligation

Ofcom approach to new spectrum allocations and liberalisation in mobile

Radio spectrum is a vital resource which underpins the broadcast and telecommunications industries, as well as essential public services such as the emergency services and air traffic control.

Ofcom is today (13 January 2005) seeking views on proposals to make a significant number of spectrum bands available to the market over the next few years. The consultation also outlines options for extending spectrum trading and liberalisation to mobile phone services.

This consultation is part of Ofcom’s wider programme of making greater use of market mechanisms to manage spectrum.

The document invites comments on these issues and on a number of other relevant issues.

Spectrum Framework Review: Implementation Plan

Broadband soars in 2004

If broadband were a jumbo jet, then 2003 would have seen it taxiing down the runway, firing up its engines and preparing for take-off. But this year has seen it soar.

In the spring it literally took to the skies as Lufthansa and British Airways trialled it on flights.

This perhaps said more about how indispensable people were beginning to perceive the technology, rather than how useful sky-high broadband would actually be.

It was flying high and by the autumn, five million Britons had signed up for high-speed net access at home.

Broadband soars in 2004

BSG Seminar: PSB: Beyond Television

PSB: Beyond Television – Public Service Broadband and the new context for communications

Friday 14 January 2005 Lewis Media Centre, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4RS 09:00 – 14:30

In association with Intellect, the BBC, DCF and PACT

The impending collision between the previously separate worlds of broadcast and broadband is getting closer. As this new world approaches what are the implications for what we have traditionally described as public service broadcasting?

  • How should the concept of public service television adapt to the new opportunities opened up by new media platforms such as broadband and mobile?
  • Is now the time to start considering a broader idea of public service broadband content? What would this mean?
  • What role should the BBC and other PSBs play in opening up the broadband opportunity? What is the case to support investment in new media if it meets public value criteria

The purpose of this event was to explore the implications of broadband for public service broadcasting and also to look at the role that the BBC and other broadcasters can play in developing broadband content and driving the broadband value proposition.

  • Session One: Introduction – Building the Broadband Opportunity
  • Session Two: What is Public Service Broadband Content?
  • Session Three: Implications for BBC Charter Renewal
  • Session Four: Implication for the Ofcom PSB Review – Should the PSP be a Full Broadband Proposition?

Please contact us with any queries or for further information.