The Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons has issued a report calling for improved 4G network coverage in the nation and questioning the practice of companies making money by selling spectrum that they are licensed to hold. Such spectrum is used by the public to gain mobile access to the internet using phones sold by services such as MyMobileDeal.com.
The report comes in the wake of a distressing development for many who wish to see broader 4G coverage in the UK: Ofcom announced a second delay for the auctions that are intended to help distribute allocations of spectrum to mobile network providers. The auctions were set up specifically to address the issue of 4G allocations. A statement from Ofcom attributed this latest delay to "strongly argued responses" from other companies in the industry, essentially shifting blame away from themselves.
At least some members of Parliament appear to have sympathy for Ofcom's point of view. John Whittingdale, who chairs the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, remarked that "Ofcom has had a very difficult job adjudicating between competing and polarised interests, and we are concerned that constant disagreement and special pleading from the four mobile network operators appears to have further delayed the spectrum auction. We believe that the basic rules for the auction which Ofcom has laid down are sensible and fair." Whittingdale added that the auction does need to take place as soon as it can be arranged to the satisfaction of all parties, since delays will cause UK data access to lag behind that of other industrialised nations.