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Broadband Licence Auction Considered Success

19 June 2003

eCommerce Minister Stephen Timms today welcomed the results of the auction of licenses for the 3.4GHz waveband of the radio spectrum, considered by the Government to be a key part of the UK's broadband strategy.

The auction, which ended on Tuesday, offered 15 regional licenses across the UK which would allow telecommunications companies the opportunity to provide always-on, high-speed wireless internet services. Almost £7 million of revenue for the Government was raised by the auction.

Hong Kong-based teleco PCCW won 13 of the 15 regional licenses, with two UK companies picking up one license each.  Red Spectrum took the northern licence, while the southern licence was won by Public Hub.

Mr Timms said in a statement today: "I am delighted with the outcome of the auction. With all fifteen licences sold, this is another important step in making the UK the most extensive and competitive market for broadband in the G7.

"The aim of the auction was to see the licences in the hands of the operators best able to take advantage of them, and in turn, to see consumers - including those in areas currently without ADSL or cable  - benefit from fixed wireless broadband access.

"Our aim is to make sure every community in the UK, regardless of location, has the opportunity to access affordable broadband services."

However few conditions have been set on the licenses - winning bidders have no roll-out obligations and will not face service restrictions if one is delivered.

News provided by eGov monitor

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