Ofcom have released details following the consultation they held in November 2010 on implementing geolocation which would allow the implementation of technology using 'white space' spectrum. This is the range of frequencies that are available for example between broadcast television channels, and could help provide access to broadband services using wireless technology.
"We will allow WSDs to access the TV white space providing that no harmful interference is caused to existing services, including: Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) services, Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) users or other future licensed users. The responses to the November 2010 Consultation and our work to date leads us to believe that this is achievable for a number of reasons, including:
- The further work undertaken by Ofcom and others in defining the geolocation database approach; and
- The ultimate ability of the regulator to control the emission levels allowed by databases and to prevent WSDs from transmitting if necessary, so that any harmful interference is avoided.Ofcom Statement on using White Space frequencies
Ofcom will now look to arrange for information on what frequencies are available in different areas to be formed into a database which will need to be used by device manufacturers to determine what frequencies can be used in that area. This is to avoid interference through using a frequency that is used by a broadcaster, as these are often different in different regions of the country. Ofcom plans for devices to be license exempt and will consult on a specification for this basis.
White space trials are already taking place on the Isle of Bute by BT Openreach and a consortium of companies were to conduct a similar trial in Cambridge. The technology has been dubbed 'Super-WiFi' by some and has been tested to give the ability to offer speeds in the region of around 16Mbps at a range of 10Km.