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NESTA Calls on Government to Swap Spectrum for Broadband

Posted: 19th Jan, 2009 By: MarkJ
The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) has called on the government to scrap its sale of spare UHF spectrum in favour of using the radio frequencies for broadband delivery. The proposal outlines a plan where the government would give (not sell) this spectrum to those operators who agreed to rollout fibre optic broadband services:

The CEO of NESTA, Jonathan Kestenbaum, explains: "We have to go much further, particularly during recessionary times. Unless we invest in super-fast broadband, the UK will lose a critical opportunity.

In exchange for a major government asset, the telecoms industry would need to rapidly deliver nationwide access to super-fast broadband and provide free basic broadband, where appropriate, to those on low incomes.

The spectrum for speed swap idea comes a little late, just one week prior to the publishing of Lord Carter's draft Digital Britain review, though such an idea has been mooted before. Meanwhile the sale itself is currently being held up by legal wrangling between Ofcom and O2, T-Mobile.
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