UK spectrum regulator issues ‘Digital Dividend Review’

UK government communications regulator Ofcom published its “Digital Dividend Review” Dec. 19, setting out proposals for the most effective use of RF spectrum to be freed up by conversion from analog to digital broadcasting between 2008 and 2012.

The spectrum to be freed by digital switchover is in the UHF band between 470MHz and 862MHz.

The amount of spectrum released through digital switchover will be one of the largest in the UK for many years.

The UK regulator is proposing to auction the spectrum freed by the conversion to digital TV transmission. Furthermore, it envisions that licenses for the spectrum could be traded and “liberalised” to let users decide the type of service to offer, the technology to use and to allow them to change its use over time.

The “Times Online” reported that free-to-air broadcasters were unhappy with Ofcom’s approach. They wanted the regulator to reserve additional spectrum for HD broadcasts on Freeview, according to the report.

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