Ofcom expands UK broadband’s wireless licence

Ofcom has adjusted the wireless license for UK Broadband Ltd (PCCW), allowing the provider to offer Internet connections to portable or mobile devices as well as to fixed locations across the country:

UK Broadband’s current Wireless Telegraphy Act licence permits the company to operate broadband fixed wireless access in the 3.5 GHz band. The company had asked Ofcom to change its licence to make it technology and application neutral, giving it greater flexibility over how it can use the radio spectrum. It also sought an increase in its permitted power levels.

Ofcom believes that removing restrictions on the licensee will benefit consumers, encourage competition, optimise use of the spectrum and is therefore in the interests of citizens and consumers. Ofcom also believes that the likelihood of interference to other users is low.

The news may give UKB, which operates its wireless broadband service through an imaginatively titled ISP known as 'Now' (that's almost as good as 'Be'), some positive press for a change.

The provider has been sitting in the slow lane since its introduction, held back by limited coverage and the fact that its top package can only deliver 1Mbps for £18 per month (10GB usage cap).

Despite this the ISP is reported to have around 15,000 customers, which may be small but isn't bad given its limited coverage and service options. On top of that there has been talk of a sale, although nothing concrete has emerged. Meanwhile development of its WiMAX based voice service is continuing.

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