White space trial to replace 4G service in Cornwall broadband trials
Cornwall continues to lead the way in testing various options that Openreach have for delivering superfast broadband and slower services that still exceed the 2 Mbps Universal Service Commitment. The area of the county that has been trialling 4G by Everything Everywhere will be switched onto a trial of white space technology after the 4G trial ends in June 2012.
The relative low frequency of white space services, which run in the small gaps between the digital TV signals means that coverage and penetration into buildings is a lot better than 3G and 4G services. White space services have to be intelligent in how they use the spectrum available to them to avoid interference, adapting to what spectrum is available in each area.
Using the same area is a clever move by Openreach as it will allow for better feedback on which service consumers and small businesses preferred to use, and help inform on what could be used to provide a service to other hard to reach parts of the UK. This is not the first use of white space by Openreach who took part in a trial on the Isle of Bute.
Looking beyond Openreach and its ambitions, this trial highlights the lack of ambition by the UK Government (both present and past) and the BDUK pilots. The pilots should have been up and running and testing these sorts of technologies, so that local authorities could learn about the various pros and cons of alternative technologies.