Last updated: November 2, 2010 - 8:15am
Everything Everywhere, the UK's largest mobile phone operator, is abandoning legal action that could have derailed a central plank of the government's efforts to improve Britain's digital infrastructure.
Ed Vaizey, communications minister, welcomed Everything Everywhere's decision not to sue the government, and said the coalition was now ready to support major improvements to the UK's broadband networks. Britain's fixed-line download speeds lag behind some industrialized nations and the UK has also missed the opportunity to be an early adopter of super-fast mobile networks based on fourth generation wireless technology. Ministers are therefore making a priority of overhauling broadband infrastructure, in the belief it should improve productivity and nurture innovation.
The government's plans were rocked in August when Everything Everywhere threatened legal action if ministers proceeded with legislation which is meant to ensure that mobile operators have sufficient radio spectrum to cope with booming consumer demand for smartphones such as Apple's iPhone. However, Tom Alexander, Everything Everywhere's chief executive, has agreed to drop the threat of legal action following intensive discussions with the government.
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