UK telecomms operators have been invited to comment on proposed regulation changes by watchdog Oftel that could see their licence fees skyrocket.
Operators have until 24 December to comment on Oftel's revised licence fee system, which it says is being drawn up to iron out inconsistencies in current policy, and to comply with European law.
A number of operators have expressed concern that their annual licence renewal fees could rise substantially, during Oftel's informal consultation period last January.
But Oftel says in its proposal document that rises will only happen in a few cases, and that the changes will have "only modest implications for the majority of licensees".
Operators that will see a licence fee rise have had it good for long enough, according to Oftel. "Those operators concerned have demonstrably benefited in previous years from the licence renewal fee being artificially low and therefore not cost based," it said.
Inconsistencies with the current system are unjustified, according to Oftel. For example, a cable licensee with a turnover of less than #3.125 billion would pay a fixed annual minimum renewal fee of #2,500, while a standard public telecomms operator with the same turnover would pay a fixed renewal fee of #20,000.
Proposals for the new system include setting a fixed minimum renewal fee for new market entrants, charging a turnover based fee for larger operators, and setting turnover bands to determine appropriate renewal fee levels.
Dust storm on Titan only the third Solar System body where such storms have been observed
New technique could enable quantum computers to scale-up to millions of qubits
Systrom and Krieger taking time off "to explore our curiosity and creativity"
Comcast's £29.7bn winning bid more than twice the £13.7bn Rupert Murdoch valued Sky at just eight years ago