UK: As covered previously on PSN-e, a UK parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM) expressing concerns about the implications of the proposed Ofcom spectrum auction for the Performance Making and Special Events (PSME) sector has been attracting growing support from MPs for some months now. Last week the EDM passed the "magic" 200-signatory mark, a mere matter of weeks before Ofcom is due to release a secondary, PMSE-specific consultation document based on responses to the original Digital Dividend Review (DDR), writes David Davies.
Nick Brown (Labour) and John Gummer (Conservative) -both former agriculture ministers - are among the MPs to have pledged their support for the EDM most recently. With 201 signatures at the time of writing, the motion has now passed what PLASA technical resources manager Ron Bonner (pictured) recently described to PSN-e as "the magic 200 mark. [_] Before launching the EDM, Jonathan Sayeed (ex-Conservative MP and head of Ranelagh International) explained to the steering group just what the mechanism is for an EDM and how it can help. He said at the time, '100 signatures and MPs take notice, 200 signatures and the government takes notice.'"
The strong response to the EDM - which was proposed by Labour MP Andrew Mackinlay last December - is only one aspect of an attention-raising initiative that has repeatedly taken the spectrum issue to the heart of government this year. Most recently, it saw members of the BEIRG (British Entertainment Industry Radio Group) steering committee on the subject return to Westminster to address the Arts and Heritage All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).
With the campaign continuing to gather momentum ahead of Ofcom's next set of findings, Shure Distribution's Alan March is sounding fairly upbeat. "I'm reasonably optimistic at the moment," he says. "There does seem to be a wish [by Ofcom] to get these plans right."
In the meantime, March has launched a bid to encourage the industry to dig into its collective pocket and help finance the ongoing campaign. "PLASA has paid for everything up to Christmas, which is very generous," he notes. "But the industry needs to start paying for itself."