French economist flags up the importance of dynamic spectrum access

A leading French economist, Professor Joelle Toledano, has just published a report which points to the importance of progressive spectrum management to innovation and economic growth. The report which was commissioned by the French Finance Ministry, in the middle of 2013, draws on interviews with major players and innovators from Europe and the US. It highlights the leading role played by the US and the UK in getting dynamic spectrum access started and points to the importance of licence exemption as a tool for accelerating innovation. The report is written in French, but an executive summary in English can be found here.

It will be interesting to see what actions French policymakers take in response to Professor Toledano's recommendations. France is very influential in developing European spectrum policy and contributes significant resources to working groups in CEPT and ETSI. So its Government's actions will be studied closely.

New UK Digital Industries minister should be helpful for Ofcom's DSA plans

In the recent shuffle of UK Government ministers, Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Broadband, not only survived but had its portfolio extended to a broad 'Digital Industries' remit. Ed Vaizey's support for progressive policymaking on Spectrum has been helpful for Ofcom's push to introduce Dynamic Spectrum Access (initially in the TV white spaces). See this article.

Ed attended the launch of the Centre for White Space Communications, in the University of Strathclyde, back in January 2013. His keynote speech then was very supportive to the concept of harvesting unused spectrum capacity through DSA, to help rural communities enjoy better broadband, for example. Nor was this to be at the expense of existing UHF services - he has been a strong supporter of Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting and its continuing technological journey.

Ofcom has devoted considerable resource to translating the Dynamic Spectrum Access vision into workable regulations for the UK /European UHF contexta and is also looking closely at other opportunities to apply the new spectrum sharing technology. The 3.5 GHz band is one such, with the advantage that it is also under considering, for DSA, in the US - and therefore offers potential harmonisation benefits. With its UK TV white spaces pilot now under way, Ofcom is in the home straight for introducing the regulations to enable the licence-exempt access for which the industry has been waiting.

In his new role, we are confident that Ed will continue to advocate more efficient and flexible spectrum usage as a vital underpinning for the future of the UK's Digital Industries.