Ofcom has published a statement on its plans to introduce so-called ‘white space’ technology in the UK. White spaces are the unused parts of frequency bands that have been reserved for other uses, such as TV transmissions. The regulator says they could be used for a wide range of applications including rural broadband and WiFi with up to twice the range of today’s technology.
Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said “At an early stage Ofcom identified the potential of White Spaces, which are currently lying vacant all around us. Within Europe, we have been leading the way to try to harness this capacity without causing harmful interference to existing users of the spectrum. 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.”
Ofcom’s proposals involve each white space device working out its location and then consulting an online database before connecting. This would avoid interference with any existing users. Trials are already underway; Ofcom says a commercial roll-out could happen within two years.