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Broadband's Digital Dividend Explored By British Government

While mobile broadband could play a pivotal role in the development of rural economies in the UK, several industry analysts are of the opinion that the rivalry among mobile broadband operators could eventually wreck the proposition.

Analysts further cited government’s use of new spectrum to offer fast broadband services in rural areas as a compromise that would eventually fail.

The government is planning to auction off “digital dividend” of airwaves made available by the switchover to digital TV services in 2012, thereby clearing up the way for speedier mobile broadband services.

Although the new spectrum would surely help the government to cover huge distances and provide fast broadband access, but releasing the spectrum would presumably land the government and the telecom watchdog Ofcom amidst age-old rivalry between five broadband players in the UK.

Ofcom presented a positive picture of the allocation of the digital dividend, as the regulator noted that any such allocation would offer the UK economy between €7.5 billion and €15 billion over the 20 years.

However, the EU, too, is very optimistic about the benefits of freeing up the spectrum, and has called all its member states to collaborate proactively in help allocating the digital dividend.

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Viviane Reding, EU Telecoms commissioner, touted the move by saying, “The digital dividend comes at a critical moment when we want to connect all parts of Europe to high-speed broadband, ensure high-quality broadcasting, and expand consumer choice in future wireless services”.

Related Links

Broadband battle goes rural (opens in new tab)


Digital Dividend: New Airwaves, New Potential and New Challenges (opens in new tab)


EU calls for collaboration over mobile broadband spectrum (opens in new tab)

(Top 10 Broadband)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.