Ofcom suggest 'white space' technology could use FM band
Further 'white space' spectrum will become available in the future which could be used for rural broadband solutions in the UK. Trials are currently being undertaken of technology which allows network operators to use the gaps between digital TV channels to be used for wireless networking technology. This has been called 'super Wi-Fi' by some as it allows Wi-Fi type signals to travel much further than existing technologies.
Ofcom is considering allowing the use of the same technologies between FM radio channels where it thinks it will also be suitable for offering broadband services. Currently, FM radio stations are in the process of moving over to digital radio, and the government is keen for the switch to be completed by 2015, although this date may be optimistic. The frequencies used (87.5MHz - 108MHz) could then be available for use by wireless broadband services.
"Spectrum is a resource that is in huge demand, fuelled by the recent explosion in smart phones and other wireless technologies.
However, there is only a limited amount of it to go around, which means we need to start thinking more creatively about how it is used. White space devices could offer the creative solution we are looking for."Ed Richards, (Chief Executive) Ofcom
BT announced in June that they were conducting a broadband access trial using white space technology on the Isle of Bute, whilst a consortium of companies have committed to running a separate test in Cambridge.