The government has formally opened bidding on licences for its new wireless broadband auction at the end of May.
The closing date for applications is 14 April. The Radiocommunications Agency has today published details of how the licences are to be awarded.
It is expected that the auction for the 3.4GHz broadband wireless licences will take up to two weeks, with licences being granted in June. Any left over will then be offered in a second auction with sealed bids.
The Department for Trade and Industry is selling 15 regional licences, with the aim of increasing broadband access in areas not covered by fixed-line connections.
But the auction is in danger of collapsing, with many operators including BT and NTL claiming they will not be bidding.
Last week Pierre Danon, chief executive at BT Retail, told vnunet.com's sister title Computing that the government's policy was "stupid" and that BT would "certainly not be bidding".
And analysts and supplier bodies, such as Intellect, have warned that the auction could repeat the fiasco of the last attempt to sell off licences for the 28GHz spectrum in 2000.
To date, only a third of those have been sold and the auctions are still ongoing.
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