The UK government has been criticised for fudging the sell off of radio spectrums that could provide British firms with cheap broadband services.
The current 28GHz fixed wireless auction has been greeted with apathy by telecoms companies, failing to attract any bids in its first month.
"The government's priorities on fixed wireless are wrong. It is the lower end of the spectrum that is of more interest," said Tim Johnson, principal analyst at research firm Ovum.
It had been hoped that the 28GHz licence would give IT directors a low-cost alternative to leased lines for high-speed corporate internet connectivity that is as fast, or faster, than DSL's 2Mbps bandwidth.
According to Johnson, interest in the 28GHz licence had waned following initial test results. "The 3.5GHz and 2.4GHz licences offer an immediate solution for running broadband services. We need a proper policy on [releasing] these," he said.
The Radiocommunications Agency (RA) denied that it was disappointed by the lack of bids to date, despite speculation that the government was planning to can the auctions because of insufficient interest.
"The auctions are open for a year, and potential bidders will have the opportunity to approach this in a considered way," said an RA spokeswoman. She denied that there were any plans to shelve the 28GHz auction. The RA was unable to confirm how many application forms or bidder compliance certificates had been issued.
This is the second time that the 28GHz licences have been auctioned, with only 16 of the 42 available being sold on the first occasion. Despite calls for detailed plans on the sale of other licences, the RA spokeswoman was unable to confirm what process the release of these licences would take.
With large parts of the UK not able to access ADSL, only 50 per cent of firms being within cable reach, and satellite broadband still in its infancy, fixed wireless had the potential to gain significant broadband market share, said Martin Heath, a partner at KPMG, which has been advising the RA on the sale of the 28GHz licences.
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