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O2 threatened with hilarious penalty for poor 3G coverage

Chris Ziegler

So the UK's Ofcom (that's Office of Communications, for those not in the know), in awarding its coveted 3G licenses, required that those five licensees all cover at least 80 percent of its population by December 31, 2007. Four of those five companies -- Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, and 3 -- were able to meet that deadline; meanwhile, O2 has been holding down last place with a measly 75.69 percent blanketed with its high speed data, which leaves the Telefonica subsidiary about 2.5 million Britons short of its obligation. So when a government body is dealing with a huge, multinational corporation that's failing to hold up its end of the bargain, you'd think that there'd be some massive fine levied, right? Not exactly. First of all, Ofcom's extending O2's deadline out to the end of June, and if they're still not at 80 percent, the penalty will be to reduce the term of O2's 3G license by a mere four months. Oh, and the license doesn't even expire until 2021. Way to put your foot down, Ofcom.

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