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Ofcom announce winners of UK 4G spectrum auction

Ofcom today announced the winners of its 4G spectrum auction, with Everything Everywhere; Hutchison 3G UK; Niche Spectrum Ventures, a BT subsidiary; Telefónica (O2); and Vodafone, emerging as winning bidders.

In 50 rounds of bidding, a total of 250MHz of spectrum was auctioned in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands. It is thought that the combination of the two bands will allow networks to deal with concentrated demand in urban areas as well as provide widespread network coverage. (more…)

BSG responds to reduced EU spending commitment on broadband

Last Friday saw the conclusion of EU budget negotiations, and as a result the proposed Connecting Europe Facility budget was reduced from €9.2bn to €1bn.

Our CEO, Pamela Learmonth, has responded to this announcement commenting:

“Broadband connectivity is vital to Europe’s future, and in tough economic times the ongoing challenge is to make the best use of resources. The reduction in proposed budget may initially provoke disappointment from some but the EU budget of EUR 1 billion is still a new investment in support of digital services and must also be seen as part of a larger sum of funding across European member states. (more…)

DCMS launches consultation on Siting Requirements

Last week saw the launch of the DCMS Consultation on the proposal that, for five years, broadband street cabinets and new poles can be installed under permitted development rights in any location (except SSSIs) without the need for prior approval from local planning authorities. The full Consultation document can be found here.

The timing comes as the delivery of the Government’s ambition to have the best superfast network in Europe by 2015 rolls on. The consultation cites that for any one location it is expected that superfast broadband could create between £143 million and £19.8 billion in additional GVA, and we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on this. (more…)

Today is Safer Internet Day 2013

Its the 10th Safer Internet Day today, organised by Insafe each year to promote more responsible use of online technology. It’s a useful initiative aimed at helping parents and carers – particularly those who may be lacking in tech skills – start a conversation with their children with their online behaviours and how to stay safe.

The initiative bring a timely and  sensible focus on  getting parents and carers think realistically about the conversations they are having with their children about going online; a welcome bit of common sense and practical advice in a debate that can, understandably so, become quickly emotive. (more…)

Secretary of State backs BSG's 2013 Annual Plan

Capitalising on UK broadband: exploiting the potential benefits

30 January 2013

Today the UK’s leading independent advisory body on broadband, the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) publishes its 2013 work programme.

The programme puts the issue of usage of broadband at its heart and focuses on the key question of how broadband infrastructure can be best exploited for socioeconomic benefit to the UK. (more…)

CEO’s update: The stage is set for 2013 to be a huge year for broadband

Hello and welcome to the new-look BSG website. This is the first of a series of monthly updates from me, giving the broadband community an overview of latest developments and trends in the industry whilst looking at those issues on the horizon for this year and beyond.

2013 is set to be a huge year for the broadband policy scene – how do we get fit for purpose infrastructure? What lessons can we learn from demand, take-up and usage? Where should the industry look for new opportunities on the operation and innovation of broadband-enabled services and an evolving regulatory environment? With the rollout of BDUK, 4G auction excitement, a forthcoming Communications White Paper, the weighing up of spectrum issues across the world and debates on universality and digital inclusion rumbling on, 2013 is set to be a big one. (more…)