4G Mobile Telephony – “Polluter Must Pay”
September 11th 2012
With the launch, today, of the advent of 4G mobile telephony a Member of Parliament has issued a caution concerning possible interference with broadcast television and says that “the polluter must be made to pay” for any unwelcome side-effects of 4G.
Sir Roger Gale (North Thanet), a former television producer and director, has said:
“While the introduction of 4G in the United Kingdom is welcome as we seek to maintain our technological competitive edge we must remain aware that there is a likely downside to that technology in the form of potentially serious interference with broadcast television.
The proximity of the bandwidth earmarked for 4G (800MgHz) to that used by TV channels means that, particularly where new mobile telephony aerials are located close to homes, it is very probable that interference will occur.
It is possible to overcome this through the use of filters and the Government has earmarked a sum of money for the provision of them but there is no guarantee that that sum will be sufficient.
Mobile phone companies stand to make a considerable amount of money out of 4G and the Government will, in turn, realise considerable amounts in the taxpayer`s interest through the sale of spectrum. There has, therefore, to be an open-ended commitment to the principle that “the polluter pays” so that if government funding proves insufficient to meet the costs of necessary filters then the 4G companies will pick up the tab.
There will be absolutely no point in trying to negotiate a compensatory package after the contracts have been drawn up. There has to be a very clear understanding up front that those profiting from 4G will also be required to make sure that where mobile telephony interferes with television signals it will be the mobile phone companies that will fund the equipment, for each affected television receiver, necessary to rectify the situation.”