The EU has awarded Inmarsat Ventures and Solaris Mobile enough radio spectrum to run trans-Europe satellite data networks, but Ofcom remains undecided if they'll still have to pay market rates to run their network down to the UK's street level. The spectrum concerned, two blocks around 2GHz, has been allocated to satellite data …
If it is nationwide service ...
... then of course it should be free to the service provider.
If it is EU wide then EU level and regional level bodies should give the provider a huge bundle of dosh for treating the public with respect especially by making it a nationwide/EU-wide service.
Part of the EU service should also include free mobility for user crossing traditional frontiers in the EU.
The old ISPs (the good old or the bad old it matters not a bit) that have made no attempt to provide a nationwide service should be cold-shouldered into similar treats.
Basis: a public asset is a public asset.
(equally an EU asset is a public asset).
The public has a right to public assets and I truly believe that Ofcom will attempt to sink it (it's brakes on making accessible 'net in the UK are well know and well atrocious).
But! (and it is a great BIG BUT!) I won't hold my breath for a positive outcome.
The trad ISPs aiming for nationwide or EU-wide coverage should be negotiating the pants of satellite providers with a view of providing a public service based on similar inducements using blended technologies.
I am sure Ofcom will do it's level best to charge the public for access to what is a public asset.
"Based on previous performance Ofcom is marginally more likely to upset the EU Commission than existing broadcasters, but it will likely try to find a third way that can upset everyone involved equally."
Just like NuLabours, the third way, and look how close to the brink of bankruptcy(morally and financially) that we all stand now.
The easiest way ofcom/EU/ Third party regulators in johnny foreigners country can do their third way bit is thus.
Equally charge all ISP's , satellite providers £2bill each for the 2ghz spectrum, hell no, lets make it £10 billion each for the entire spectrum, and then lets see survival of the fittest.
Let dog eat dog mean that these greedy fat money making machines of business fight each other, Joe Public wins during the competition. When prices start going up again because the market can only accomodate 2 or 3 companies, the the EU etc can re-auction the spectrums excluding the big 2 or 3, allowing new startups that force the big 2-3 to buy spectrum from them, hence again causing competition and Joe public wins again.
AdInfinitum of course. It's about time Joe Public got some of his own f+++++g in.
The quango run by an ex civil servant who embarrassed the last Tory Govt with a leak and ended up being rewarded by Labour with £400K+ a year to run OFCOM. Thats why the UK is fucked.
The trouble is that ...
... in an auction whoever wins the public loses.
The winner will probably have a business plan, predicted operating costs and return to UK Treasury.
Unfortunately most, if not all, auctions like this in the UK win based on returns to UK Treasury.
And, of course, the winning bidder has to get that money from some source. That source can only be customers in the UK. Hence it becomes a UK tax delivered by proxy where the proxy is the winning bidder.
I'd like to see national companies stepping up to the mark to provide EU wide services both to mobile 'net and mobile phones. It is the 21st century and time to disassociate from 19th century notions of national boundaries within the EU.
Even the most extreme UK independence parties seem keen on in EU, not run by EU.
Apologies for my ramblings ...