[bbc] The government is considering capping the amount of radio spectrum owned by Britain's mobile phone companies as it tries to thrash out a deal that will fulfil Lord Carter's ambition of broadband for all.
The plan, put together by the communications minister's lieutenant Kip Meek, would allow Vodafone and O2 to hold on to the part of the airwaves they were granted in the 1980s, which their rivals had hoped they would be forced to share.
But it would bar them from picking up some of the spectrum that will become free when the analogue TV signal is switched off in 2012 unless they sell some other holdings.
The deal is essentially a stop gap measure designed to meet the government's ambition of getting broadband speeds of about 2Mb per second to the estimated 1.5 million households that are currently beyond reach.
Ministers abandon hope of sharing out broadband spectrum