UK telecoms policy moves government department as proposals for new Communications Act announced

In a week of Westminster resignations, with Andy Coulson accused of condoning mobile voicemail hacking and Ed Balls taking over as Chancellor you may be forgiven for having missed a couple of lower-key announcements. With Vince Cable professionally embarrassed from ruling on whether News can take a 100 per cent ownership interest in BSkyB, we …

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Mobile broadband event: net neutrality, mobile content, network capacity and handsets

Regular blog readers will know that I hosted a mobile data event for Cambridge Wireless yesterday. I found the event thought-provoking. For those on twitter, I attempted do a near-live tweet commentary of other speakers which you can find at @rbratby between 2 and 4 pm 20 Jan. For those who want even more, I attach details of …

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Broadband for the ‘other three billion’

Over the festive break I was musing on the broad benefits on getting the populations of developing countries connected.  Amongst the barriers  hindering ‘in-country’ network roll-out are opaque mechanisms for spectrum allocation and management and concerns over the rule of law and property rights. One approach that may address some of these issues is the deployment …

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BT sets prices for passive access to ducts and poles

Before Christmas, this blog flagged that last-mile fibre access (also know as next generation access, or NGA) was a commercial and regulatory issue that would be high on the agenda over the coming years.  On Friday, BT announced its draft pricing and product proposals for ‘passive access’ to its ducts and poles in the UK.  (In the NGA world passive …

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UK seeks views on principles of economic regulation

On 7 January the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published a ‘call for evidence’ relating to principles of economic regulation.  As those who have read my earlier post will know, in industries where network effects (or various economies such as scale) are present (such as telecoms) it is unlikely that an unregulated market will deliver the best …

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Uncertainty for UK spectrum auctions as refarming permitted

Ofcom permits 2G spectrum refarming Ofcom yesterday varied the spectrum licences of the UK’s three 2G spectrum licensees (EverythingEverywhere (JV between Orange and T-Mobile), Vodafone and O2) to permit them to use those frequencies for 3G services (mobile broadband) as well as 2G services (such as voice and SMS).  For more detail see the Olswang update (thanks to Telecommentator). Uncertainty about digital …

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Why network effects require ongoing interconnection rules (and other regulatory interventions)

I write today’s blog from sunny Switzerland. The news seems rather slow and I can’t bear to write a top ten lists of things that either happened in 2010 or to watch in 2011, so today’s post will try to explain what network effects (or externalities) are and why even in a minimalist government intervention …

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Broadband aid (do they know it’s Christmas)

Re-reading yesterday’s post, I hope it wasn’t too close to a law firm client update – that is not being the point of this blog. I thought I’d try to redress the balance today, and as I drove from London to Exmoor for Christmas, with the snow by the side of the road steadily increasing, …

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Net neutrality: religious or secular war?

Some years ago I was reading one of those very thought provoking articles in the end of year bumper edition of the Economist.  The gist of the article was that you could compare societies along different dimensions and depending on the dimension you chose could get very different groupings to those we are familiar with.  …

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(Digital and mobile) money, money, money

Trying to write an interesting blog about the intersection of law, policy and regulation with telecoms and technology is somewhat challenging.   Three posts in and I seem to be relying on references to popular culture to pep things up – this time 1970s disco. The use of stored value in the form of money is the cornerstone of …

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