Ofcom Consultation on Spectrum Management Strategy

October 3, 2013

On 2 October, Ofcom revealed to its ‘stakeholders’ that it was looking to review its spectrum management strategy. The consultation closes on 11 December. The full consultation paper, which floats spectrum sharing as a long-term solution, can be accessed here. Ofcom is not shy about seeking to establish a strategy for the next ten years, which may seem to some too long a period for sensible planning in such a fast-changing area.

It seems likely that the new consultation is connected with the appointment on 30 September of Philip Marnick as Ofcom’s new Group Director in charge of spectrum.

The consultation summary states that ‘spectrum is a valuable resource and securing its optimal use is key to delivering significant benefits for UK citizens and consumers’. The purpose of the consultation is said to be to outline ‘initial views on the future developments in spectrum use that could indicate the need for priority action by us over the next ten years. Whilst these developments are inherently uncertain, we believe it is important to take a long-term perspective given the long timescales often required to enable changes in spectrum use.’ It remarks on emerging important trends that could have a significant impact on spectrum use, including mobile broadband growth, the emergence of new uses such as machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and increasingly sophisticated techniques for sharing spectrum.