UK spectrum cap call receives “huge” public support

10 JAN 2017
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Make The Air Fair, an initiative established to urge regulator Ofcom to curb BT’s dominance of the mobile industry, received support from more than 100,000 people for a proposed cap on the amount of spectrum operators can own.

The number is in line with the 103,000 responses received for an earlier Ofcom consultation into the role of BT’s infrastructure arm Openreach, which was titled “Fixing Britain’s Internet”.

In a statement, Make The Air Fair campaigners said there is “huge” support for a 30 per cent cap on the amount of airwaves a mobile network can own “to safeguard future competition”.

The campaign group, led by Three UK with TalkTalk, CityFibre, Federation of Communication Services, Gamma and Relish, called on Ofcom to ensure lower prices, better speeds and a more competitive industry to benefit all UK customers.

Dave Dyson, CEO at 3 UK, said over 60 per cent of UK consumers fear reduced competition between service providers will lead to increased prices.

“UK mobile customers face higher prices, slower speeds and worse coverage in future. Ofcom has the power to change this and we want Sharon White to act decisively and put customers first,” Dyson said.

The latest figures appear to end uncertainty over the public’s appetite to get involved in a debate about spectrum allocation.

Last month, the National Infrastructure Commission published a report ranking the UK as 54th in the world for 4G coverage, notably behind less developed nations including Romania, Albania and Peru.

In November last year, Ofcom said it would prevent BT from bidding on 40MHz of spectrum available in the 2.3GHz band in a planned process, although it did not place a bar on 3.4GHz bids because of the lack of immediate use.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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