David Meyer, who was appointed as chair of UK SPF not long back and Jane Humphreys, Senior Spectrum Advisor to UK SPF met with Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy today. Here is a quick summary of that meeting from Jane.
Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, told us that he loves spectrum – still! The occasion was David's first meeting with the Minister since he became Chair of the Spectrum Policy Forum in July.
David told the Minister of the ground-breaking report by the SPF on future demand for spectrum, sector by sector written by those sectors, and identifying the pinch points. We will present the report to the Minister at the SPF event on Wednesday 16 December, and use it as the basis for action by SPF members, and hopefully by Government and by Ofcom.
Also on our agenda was making better use of public sector spectrum. Release, such as the forthcoming auction of 190MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands formerly used by the MOD (David kicked this off in 2009 when at MOD), is good but sharing may deliver much greater value and may be more realistic. A big issue is matching demand with supply: moving to an assumption that spectrum is available unless clearly marked as 'not available' could liberate value. Industry needs much greater clarity about who in government to go to for access to spectrum. Sorting this out may be for the Digital Task Force which Ed Vaizey chairs.
With WRC15 under way in Geneva, we encouraged the Minister to initiate promptly after it ends the review promised in the UK Spectrum Strategy of how Government, Ofcom and industry can work even better together in international forums to deliver the best outcome for the UK. For example the UK Government might follow the US example and make more use of our Embassies to ensure that other administrations understand, and hopefully support, our position. Making an intelligent use of the respective strengths of industry, Ofcom and government can surely only be for the good – and however successful we are at WRC15 we will want to do better at WRC19. And of course in the meanwhile there is the small matter of the European Commission's anticipated proposals for changes to the regulatory framework in order to deliver the Digital Single Market to deal with.
We are looking forward to what Ed has to say to us at the SPF event on 16 December. Make sure you are there, ready with your questions and ideas for delivering economic and social value from spectrum – and ready to help explain the wonder of spectrum to the public who seldom appreciate how much spectrum contributes to their daily lives.
To find out more about the event on 16th Dec. and register, see here.
For more information on the UK Spectrum Policy Forum, please get in touch: