EE will today launch 4G services for the first time in the UK in ten cities. However, millions are set to miss out because of delays that have taken place under the Conservative-led Government.
The auction of 4G spectrum was set to take place shortly after the Conservative-led Government took office in May 2010, but repeated Government mishandling of the process has meant the auction will now not take place until 2013.
One network, EE, is launching 4G today but its offering is limited to only ten cities including London, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Edinburgh. The vast majority of the population will miss out on the benefits of 4G technology for many months to come.
The delays mean that the Treasury is yet to receive the billions of pounds of revenue that are expected to be generated by the 4G auction – money that could have been used to get the British economy moving. Labour has said it would use the 4G auction receipts to build 100,000 affordable homes and create thousands of new jobs.
Helen Goodman MP, Shadow Media and Communications Minister, said:
"We are pleased that 4G is launching in the UK today. However, we are very disappointed that the launch will be limited to just ten cities. If the Conservative-led Government had got its act together and held the 4G auction when planned, millions of people would already be enjoying the benefits of 4G. Instead, most of the population will still have to wait months to get access to the technology.
"Labour has said we would use the money raised from the 4G auction to fund 100,000 new affordable homes, create thousands of jobs and boost the economy. We need to act to strengthen and sustain the recovery, but this Government is wasting every opportunity to do something about it. It’s yet another sign of this Government’s incompetence."