Broadband licensing scheme from Friday

18 Mar 2003

The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) is continuing its efforts to promote the development of broadband nationally.

It has announced the introduction of a new licensing scheme for local area broadband fixed wireless access services which it hopes will further stimulate rollout.

From Friday 21 March onwards applicants can apply on a first-come-first-served basis for the provision of broadband wireless services in specific locations.

Initially these licences will be offered in two frequency bands, 10GHz and 26GHz. Applicants will be invited to apply for licences for up to 2x28MHz of spectrum for use in an area of the applicant’s choice.

Locations will be defined by reference to a service area around a central point which will correspond to the location of a central base station transmitter.

The commission is also looking at a further local area licensing initiative at a later stage in the 3.5GHz frequency band. This will be particularly suited to serving rural or suburban areas, providing as it does a larger coverage area (up to 15km radius).

ComReg says that because spectrum availability is more limited in the 3.5GHz band it would like to be able to gauge the likely demand for services in this band before the introduction of the licensing regime.

Detailed guidelines and an application form for the 10GHz and 26GHz licences will be available on the ComReg website from Friday.

By Suzanne Byrne