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Internet service provider (ISP) 3 has criticised Ofcom's decision to free up 2G radio spectrum for the provision of mobile broadband services.

The media regulator has relaxed its rules on the transmission of broadband signals, and will now allow broadband providers to use 900Mhz and 1,800Mhz spectrum for this purpose.

A number of ISPs stand to benefit from the decision – including O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange - who may now have the opportunity to expand their coverage.

However, the UK's other major mobile broadband provider, 3, does not own any radio spectrum and therefore will not be able to benefit from the ruling.

Given the advantage 2G spectrum use could provide to its rivals, the ISP has described the decision as being anti-competitive.

Kevin Russell, Chief Executive of 3, told the BBC that fair competition in the broadband market is vital to the delivery of the government's universal broadband and digital inclusion targets.

"It drives the delivery of new and better services and promotes value," he commented.

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