Alexander invites bids for wireless internet licences

The UK’s E-Commerce Minister Douglas Alexander today outlined the bidding process for the 26 remaining licences for broadband fixed wireless access in England, Scotland, and Wales. The licences will be available from September 2001.

Commercial licence holders will be able to deliver internet and multimedia services over the airwaves.

The announcement is said to form part of the Government’s drive to provide competitive broadband services throughout the UK.

Broadband fixed wireless access will provide competition to fibre, cable links, DSL phone lines and satellite, which also offer access to broadband services.

Companies will be able to bid for licences at the reserve price set at last November’s auction.

If no other company is interested, the bidder will be awarded the licence at the reserve price. If the licence attracts more than one applicant it will then go to auction.

This process will continue until all the licences are sold or when the Government reviews bidding after 12 months.

This procedure was agreed following discussions with industry after the close of last November’s auction.

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