little while now, but the EU has just taken another step toward making 4G coverage a continental reality. Last week, the European Commission, European Parliament and member states of the European Council reached what they're calling an "informal compromise" on a new radio spectrum policy. Under the proposed agreement, member countries would have to free up (read: "auction off") their 800MHz frequency bands for broadband service by January 1, 2013, as part of Parliament's plan to accelerate broadband rollout by using spectrum once devoted to analog TV frequencies. The idea is to allocate 1200MHz to mobile traffic sometime after the year 2013, but before the end of 2015. Government authorities would retain the right to allocate their country's radio frequencies as they see fit, though distribution across ISPs and users falls under the EU's aegis -- which is where the proposed Radio Spectrum Policy Programme comes in. A draft of the deal has already received approval, though a final version must still be ratified by the European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee on November 10th, before making its way to Parliament for a full vote.