Trade and Industry Committee Press Notice 50

Session 2002-03  18 December 2002

Press Notice 50

Radio Spectrum Management

The Committee will publish its Third Report of Session 2002-03, Radio Spectrum Management, at 9.00am on Thursday 18 December 2002.  A summary of the Committee's findings is set out below.

The Committee agreed in principle with the Government's general approach to the future management of the radio spectrum.  The introduction of market-oriented management tools is preferable to the use of administrative procedures as a means of responding to increasing demand for spectrum.  More extensive use of auctions and of administrative incentive pricing, and the introduction of a system for spectrum trading should all contribute to improved, more flexible spectrum management; but these measures must be accompanied by adequate safeguards to protect consumer interests and safety, and to prevent market distortions.

In particular, the Government should attach conditions to auction sales and spectrum trading, as appropriate, to prevent the hoarding of spectrum by individual companies or to specify rollout and usage obligations.  

The Committee did not support the Government's proposal to introduce Recognised Spectrum Access as a management tool.  It felt that  the primary effect of RSA would be to raise revenue from spectrum users who, because they are not required to hold spectrum licences, could not be charged by the regulator by any other means.  

The Committee recognised that the Government's policy for improved spectrum management is still being developed, and will take several years to implement fully.  It will monitor the development of the Government's plans and will return to this issue should the need arise.           

There will not be a press conference. Copies of the report may be purchased from the Stationery Office (inquiries: 0870 600 5522).  The Report will also be published on the Internet.


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Previous Reports and Press Notices (from 1996 onward) can be viewed on the Internet at: