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Ofcom confirms plans for ‘white space’ broadband

Communications regulatory agency in the UK Ofcom has recently confirmed a long-lasting suspicion that UK ISPs will be allowed to utilize spectrum ‘white space’ to provide enhanced and additional broadband connections.

The broadcast spectrum’s white spaces are usually found in between television channels, which have increased range compared to current broadband Wi-Fi technology.

Ofcom’s aim is to make this white space readily available to broadband users, a move that means that rural and remote customers will better receive broadband access due to signals being digitally transmitted through solid objects such as walls.

The regulator hopes that by making this white space spectrum available, rural areas will have greater access to broadband because the further reaching signals can easily zip through walls as well as the air.

Long time coming

The white space technique has been in discussion for more than a year, with tests finishing successfully this year when Cambridge Consultants successfully sent a Tweet via white space.

“At an early stage Ofcom identified the potential of White Spaces, which are currently lying vacant all around us,” said Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom.

“The solution we have devised creates the opportunity to maximise the efficient use of spectrum and open the door to the development of a new and exciting range of consumer and business applications.

“We are hoping that white space develops in the same way as Wi-Fi has in the UK.

“It offers much more capacity than Wi-Fi in homes and offices, as well as significant use in extending broadband to rural areas.”

White space-enable technology is estimated to begin filtering into the market in 2013.

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