Spectrum may not go to the highest bidder: Adams

ICT Minister will consider the plans that bidders intend to put into the market when deciding how to divvy up the 700MHz spectrum

ICT Minister Amy Adams says the government will consider the plans that bidders for 700MHz spectrum intend to put into the market, when deciding how it should be divvied up.

“It’s not about who can bid the most. I’m not interested in a high bid that’s not going to deliver much for New Zealanders,” she told Computerworld.

Adams will be looking for bidders who can provide plans that will contribute to better productivity and “better outcome gains”.

The 700MHz spectrum band becomes available in November 2013 following the digital switchover. It is valuable to mobile telcos because it will enable the next evolution in the delivery of mobile broadband.

In her speech at the Commerce Commission 'The Future of High Speed Broadband' conference in Auckland last week, Adams provided an update on the recent consultation process.

“There was clear support from many for the Asia Pacific Telecommunity band plan, but also some nervousness about the international uptake of this plan, and there remains a live debate around various technology options,” she said.

“And there was recognition that there would be additional costs if New Zealand tried to go it alone and take a technology path not shared by some larger economies.”

“The Government is now considering its options for allocation of the spectrum and I’m focussed on ensuring that this spectrum is allocated in good time so that industry can put it to new uses as soon as it becomes available."

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