Radio Spectrum Management Review: Consultation Announced
Press Release - 18 June 2001
The latest move to ensure that the UK's radio spectrum is among the best and most efficient in the world was published today.
A consultation paper "Radio Spectrum Management Review" is part of a far-reaching, independent review headed by Professor Martin Cave.
The consultation exercise is designed to make sure that the spectrum meets the demands of the growing industries in the sector as well as maintaining a high quality public services.
The consultation will develop principles that will underpin an economically efficient radio spectrum. Benefits for the UK economy will cover both private and public sector, strengthening the quality and breadth of services to the public.
The input from all interested parties will not only establish the ideal framework but also maximise choice for all users.
It raises a number of areas for debate, including:
The economic gains to be won by the efficient use of the spectrum;
the best regulatory framework for the management of the spectrum;
use of the spectrum by a number of sectors including defence, broadcasting and emergency services; and
pricing and auctions of the spectrum.
Professor Martin Cave said:
"The radio spectrum is a key UK asset and very important to the success of many industries which can contribute to the future prosperity and productivity of UK plc. It is also vital to ensure that the spectrum is available for the delivery of essential public services such as defence, broadcasting, air safety and the emergency services.
"The key proposal is that all users should face an incentive to take into account the opportunity cost of the spectrum they are using. The review will explore ways in which this principle might be applied to both private and public sectors."
"The UK has already taken great strides towards making more productive use of spectrum. But the pace of change in technology and rising demand for communications means we need continually to assess what more we can do to encourage innovation and productivity in this area."
1. The joint DTI-H M Treasury review was first announced in the Pre Budget Report, November 2000. The review remit and the appointment of Professor Martin Cave were announced in March 2001. The review is due to report to DTI and H M Treasury Ministers by the end of 2001.
2. The review's remit is set out at Annex A
3. Professor Martin Cave, professor of economics and Vice-Principal at Brunel University, has published on a wide range of subjects, including telecommunications regulation and spectrum management as well as competition policy and higher education. He has also advised OFTEL and a number of regulatory bodies. He is a member of the Competition Commission.
4. The Communications White Paper was published in December 2000 by the Department for Trade and Industry, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It sets out the institutional framework for communications regulation, including the establishment of a single regulator for the sector. This single regulator will incorporate the spectrum management functions of the Radiocommunications Agency.
5. The Review invites responses by 17th August 2001 from all interested parties to the following addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or to the Secretary to the Review, Daniel Storey, at Radio Spectrum Management Review c/o Radiocommunications Agency Wyndham House 189 Marsh Wall London E14 9SX The Consultation Paper is available at the following web address: www.spectrumreview.radio.gov.uk or via the Radiocommunications Agency website: www.radio.gov.uk
6. Enquiries about this Radiocommunications Agency press notice, and other Agency matters not connected with the independent review, should be addressed to Julia Fraser, Radiocommunications Agency: 020 7211 0500.
020 7211 0500
Public Enquiries: 020 7211 0662
Radiocommunications Agency website: www.radio.gov.uk
Out of hours: 020 7215 5110/5600
Textphone for those with hearing impairment: 020 7215 6740
Independent review of radio spectrum management: terms of reference
1. In the November 2000 Pre-Budget Report, the Government announced an independent review of radio spectrum management.
2. The review will advise on the principles that should govern spectrum management, and what more needs to be done to ensure that all users, including non-commercial users, are focused on using their spectrum in the most efficient way possible. In doing so, it will consider the use of spectrum management tools such as spectrum valuation, pricing and trading.
3. The review will report to the Chancellor and to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.
Context and timing
4. In December 2000 the Government published the Communications White Paper. This sets out the future for regulation in the communications sector, including the transfer of spectrum management functions into the new unified regulator, OFCOM.
5. The purpose of the review is not to revisit these institutional arrangements. However, it may be the case that the review wishes to make recommendations for the implementation of the legislation. In order to ensure that this is possible, the review will provide advice on these areas for late summer 2001.
6. The review will provide a final report by the end of the year, and if possible for the 2001 Pre-Budget Report.
7. In order to ensure that the review is fully informed and authoritative, it will carry out full consultation with interested parties, including from the private sector (such as broadcasters, telecommunications companies, manufacturers, etc.), and from relevant Government departments (including, but not necessarily limited to, the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions). 8. The recommendations that the review produces need to be practical as well as desirable. It will consider not only analytical issues but also the incentives facing different users and realistic mechanisms for improving spectrum management.