Avoiding a Spectrum Crunch: The UK needs to continue with its commitment to make an additional 500 MHz of spectrum below 5GHz available by 2020.
The radio spectrum supports operations that are critical in the UK. These operations efficiently provide all of us with food in the shops, power, water, safety and security and a whole host of other benefits we would sorely miss were they halted or even interrupted. No spectrum changes should be undertaken that would imperil these operations. They are "critical" systems and usually require special radio systems.
Spectrum Pipeline: Reflecting projected exponential broadband growth and long term needs, further efforts must continue to identify additional spectrum for availability in the next decade and beyond.
Government Spectrum Transparency: HM Treasury and Cabinet Office should undertake a joint exercise to ascribe a value to the public safety / critical national infrastructure uses of spectrum, using a clearly identified methodology. This vital missing piece of the jigsaw will enable clearer comparisons to be made between safety-critical and commercial considerations in determining the most efficient spectrum allocation process.
Expeditious Auctions: Ofcom should promptly implement voluntary incentive auctions, allowing current licensees and the government to reap financial benefits from spectrum being made available for wireless broadband.
Spectrum sequestration: spectrum licences should be granted on a strict ‘use it or lose it’ basis.
Ofcom should set caps to ensure no one operator controls more than 30% of the spectrum available to carry any one particular type of delivery technology.
Re-Purposing Government-held Spectrum: FCS supports the clearing of re-purposed MOD and other Government-held spectrum bands to the maximum extent feasible. Cleared, exclusively licensed spectrum bands allow for the most efficient and dependable use of spectrum suitable for PMR, mission-critical voice and mobile broadband deployment, and maximize network investment, marketability, availability and consumer use.
Government should encourage industry-managed aggregation/sub-licencing of suitable blocks of spectrum, and the creation and operation of MVNO models for professional users of such spectrum.
Televison Broadcast Requirements: Government should require the TV broadcasting industry to make a robust financial case for its continued use of scarce spectrum resource. All the current trends in consumer consumption of TV programmes point to an increasing use of satellite and broadband infrastructure to deliver increased functionality and 'on demand' viewing. It is by no means clear that a compelling long-term case exists for terrestrial television broadcasting.
Spectrum Efficiency: Spectrum management policies should prioritize global harmonization and coordination of spectrum allocations; protection from harmful interference for licensed uses; adjacency to like services; and allocations of wide, contiguous blocks of spectrum.
There is always the risk that some policy position or block allocation which is not contentious in the UK context might end up being compromised by the policies of other EU member states or international bodies like World Radio Council. For this reason, the UK should adopt and defend clear policy positions, even in the absence of resistance from UK industry stakeholders.