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Thursday, January 31, 2008

How do you recoup spectrum from the public sector? Let them sell it.....

Great idea from Ofcom, the UK regulator, this morning. Here, as in many countries, there are huge parts of the spectrum (often in prime useful bands) that has been reserved for the military, or other government-sector users. Typically, these organisations have so much that they don't have any particular incentive to use it particularly efficiently. But at the same time, they'll push very hard indeed if there's any threat of it being taken away from them - "national security" always wins arguments.

But there's another approach.... let these organisations trade or sell their spectrum, which might be worth £billions. Given budget constraints for the military in particular, the notion of investing a small amount in optimising their usage of existing spectrum, could mean they could sell enough of what is "spare" to buy another aircraft carrier, or better equip troops for ongoing conflicts.

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