Nevertheless as Webb appears to be their spokesperson, I shall take a much need, but hopefully not too harsh a closer look at him. We already know that Webb was also one of the culprits who instigated the lag between the US and the UK in obtaining 4G. Consequently is Webb now attempting to orchestrate the same fate with 5G?
Oh well, the bigger they are the harder they fall it is said! Witness David Cameron, but does Webb need to be pushed?
Webb's states that "there is an alternative vision where industry focuses on consistent connectivity everywhere rather than unnecessary fast speeds in city centers". The self-righteous hypocrisy and attempted rewriting of history within this statement belies the simple fact that Webb was one of the leading technical "experts" who, since 2000, have led the UK into this promised landscape. Nevertheless we are where we are. Webb is not in denial though, instead it appears to me that Webb is merely hiding his malice behind a mask of virtue. Hence we need look no further than Dido Harding's critique of broadband roll-out in parliament, quoted in previous Blogs to begin the case against him. Also good luck to Dido in a new stage of her career.
Personally I have no axe to grind with Webb. Webb to me simply represents one UK Establishment mindset epitomized by the not-invented-here syndrome. (Not to be confused with the JMB of course.)
What is not widely known is that Webb owes this Establishment position to David Cleevely FREng. one of the Great and the Good of the Cambridge Mafia, who as one of the eight originators of the Communications Review 2000 provided the cover leading to the formation of OFCOM and the notorious 2003 Communications Act. But does Cleevely share Webb's 5G sentiments? If so that would be a double tragedy.
We already know what the NTIA thought of Cleevely's inadequate and inappropriate CRFS Spectrum Sensing offering: they not only designed their own more advanced sensor but are implementing their own Spectrum Monitoring Cloud based MSOD system architecture for underpinning 5G Spectrum Sharing. Oh Dear!
Incidentally, regarding the Act itself, Sharon stated the following in her IoG speech: "Most of our telecom's and broadcasting work sits under European Law, transposed into UK statutes such as the 2003 Communications Act, in telecom's a common EU framework defines the broad duties, powers and independence of national regulators such as OFCOM". So true, but it is how this framework has been transposed into UK law, and who by, which is the real problem: i.e. gold-plated ambiguity by civil servants who leave the neo-Luddite ilk of William Webb to interpret legislation as they see fit. Yet they never wonder why OFCOM are always permanently in court?
One serious question to be addressed by others is the following: how has Webb's influence contaminated the higher echelons of political policy making to the detriment of UK technology policy with his stop-gap WhiteSpace piece of nonsense which died when Neul was sold to Huawei for a reported œ24m in 2014? This regulatory delay from 2008 to 2015 hindered the UK in playing an active role in the true development of Sharing Spectrum and Reusable Spectrum Technologies agenda globally. Question: why did Huawei not participate in OFCOM's 2015 Spectrum Sharing Framework Consultation? Nevertheless good luck to Huawei and the four UK WSDB enterprises; FairSpectrum, Nominet UK, Sony Europe and Spectrum Bridge come NGTV. I am sure they shall cope, adapt and prosper. Incidentally, how do you propose to achieve consistent connectivity in a 5G world without a MSOD system being in place? Of course readers know it is a receiver thing with the NTIA and Boulder already on the case.
Ironically the same FT article comments on the Chancellor's declaring that Britain wanted to be a "world leader in 5G" were raised. The undercurrent to the FT article is that rather than falsely debate the issue, there is a Turf War going on. Markets and engineers cannot be fooled.
Two further statements from Webb's book, published last November, caught my attention. From Chapter 9 "How the future plays out", Webb states: "Current mobile data speeds are more than adequate for all foreseeable uses" - rubbish, only a technical ignoramus would believe that and Webb is certainly no technical ignoramus. Then Webb ends his book with the following statement: "The aim of this book is to stimulate debate that allows 5G to become whatever good things happen from 2018 onwards. After all, it's good to talk, and the future could be bright..." or its converse!
A Fond FarewellNext >