Industry business growth is not just a matter of finding markets and developing profitable sales. It also depends upon having access to the infrastructure by which those services can be delivered. Including having air traffic capacity for the radio communications necessary to support the operations of the business or the customers' communications. Thus radio spectrum is a vital resource for the achievement of business goals and of service obligations.
The UK can not operate in isolation. Radio spectrum alignment with the greatest possible number of other countries is essential. The advantages of scale not only affect price of radio equipment but influence the entire value chain. This is therefore a matter of strategic interest to industry that the international radio spectrum debate includes their requirements.
Against this background, the Spectrum Strategy Group (SSG) was born in 2011 to unify FCS policy on radio spectrum matters:
- To contribute to the UK Government and Ofcom positions on spectrum matters in EU and CEPT forums
- To assist Government and Ofcom policy on radio spectrum and spectrum management matters
- To provide information to the Government and Ofcom on critical matters relating to the development of policy
- To better facilitate Government and Ofcom access to a key stakeholder group.
- To provide a forum for the exchange of non-competitive information
It is a testimony to the work of the SSG over many years that so much of UK radio policy -- especially in the areas of spectrum trading and spectrum leasing -- is now aligned with the positions articulated by FCS. To the point where the Group's initial brief has now been largely fulfilled.
Increasingly, spectrum-related workstreams have become focussed on professional radio and less and less on any consumer applications. This has now reached the point that FCS's current spectrum topics are all directly related to Business Radio Interests.
Furthermore, the spectrum points, whilst essential components, are actually only part of wider Business Radio topics. For example, the reversal of the UHF 2 band is obviously a strategic spectrum topic but the major issue is really about the migration logistics and the control of costs rather then the spectrum itself.
As a consequence of this shift in the applicability of the strategic spectrum issues, it has been proposed to suspend the Spectrum Strategy Group as a separate entity within the FCS and merge the current work into the agenda of the Business Radio Council where the entirety of the various topics will be considered as coherent work streams.
The membership of the SSG has therefore been notified of the proposal to suspend the Group until such time as a topic should arise which has pan-FCS applicability and is of sufficient magnitude to justify the re-establishment of the Group.
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