Lord Mandelson Requests Summit With CEOs Of UK Mobile Phone Operators

Lord Mandelson, it seems, is looking to solve the issue associated with fast broadband access across the United Kingdom as soon as possible.

The Guardian reported that the business secretary has "summoned" the heads of UK's five mobile phone operators to "bang some heads together".

Ultimately, the goal of the meeting is to work out a quick (and possibly cheap) way of turning the government's plans of allowing everyone to get a broadband in the UK into reality before 2012.

The seminal report, Digital Britain, prepared by Lord Carter before he left, drew the plans for a country crisscrossed by super fast fiber optic cables.

These were supposed to be financed by a 50p monthly levy on all phone lines but was readily discarded due to political reasons.

Instead it seems, the government wants to force the five mobile phone companies to strike a deal over the 900Mhz wireless spectrum which were originally allocated to BT Cellnet (O2) and Vodafone back in the 1980's.

In addition, the government is also exploring the possibility of selling off the 800MHz spectrum that will be freed once analogue TV signals are switched off in 2012.

Both 800MHz and 900MHz wireless spectrum are well suited for long distance transmission since they can travel farther and are therefore ideal for rural areas.

The task that lies ahead is significant; in a http://www.itproportal.com/network/news/article/2009/8/31/more-third-uk-households-cant-get-broadband-says-ons/ report published a few days ago, the Office of National Statistics said that around a third of UK households can't get internet. An even bigger proportion wouldn't be able to get access to broadband connection because they live too far from a telephone exchange.

Lord Mandelson, it seems, is looking to solve the issue associated with fast broadband access across the United Kingdom as soon as possible.

The Guardian reported that the business secretary has "summoned" the heads of UK's five mobile phone operators to "bang some heads together".

Ultimately, the goal of the meeting is to work out a quick (and possibly cheap) way of turning the government's plans of allowing everyone to get a broadband in the UK into reality before 2012.

The seminal report, Digital Britain, prepared by Lord Carter before he left, drew the plans for a country crisscrossed by super fast fiber optic cables.

These were supposed to be financed by a 50p monthly levy on all phone lines but was readily discarded due to political reasons.

Instead it seems, the government wants to force the five mobile phone companies to strike a deal over the 900Mhz wireless spectrum which were originally allocated to BT Cellnet (O2) and Vodafone back in the 1980's.

In addition, the government is also exploring the possibility of selling off the 800MHz spectrum that will be freed once analogue TV signals are switched off in 2012.

Both 800MHz and 900MHz wireless spectrum are well suited for long distance transmission since they can travel farther and are therefore ideal for rural areas.

The task that lies ahead is significant; in a report published a few days ago, the Office of National Statistics said that around a third of UK households can't get internet.

An even bigger proportion wouldn't be able to get access to broadband connection because they live too far from a telephone exchange.

Our Comments

Two weeks ago, Lord Mandelson was criticised for wanting to bring in much stiffer laws to crack down on illegal file sharing. Some pointed out the coincidence between the Business secretary's decision to act and the fact that it happened only a few days after a dinner with Billionaire David Geffen.

Related Links

Mandelson orders meeting of mobile providers over access

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Peter Mandelson in talks to boost fast broadband access

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Lord Mandelson orders meeting of mobile phone firms over broadband access

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Mobile Operators summoned for meeting by Lord Mandelson over ubiquitous Mobile Broadband

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