OFCOM: White Space for UK

Posted by Sam Churchill on

The UK’s telecommunications regulator, Ofcom, took one further step along the route to putting services into the country’s unused television spectrum, reports MocoNews. It’s similar to the “white space” plan now being implemented by the U.S. FCC, and encouraged by entrepreneurs like Google.

In the report published today, Ofcom outlined some more detail about how white space wireless broadband would work in practice:

  • The regulator called for the creation of a “geolocation database” that would provide live information on open frequencies. Ofcom will invite companies to host and manage these databases, expected sometime in 2011.
  • Devices will need to check against these databases before going online in order to avoid interference with existing television services.
  • As the FCC has done in the U.S. Ofcom appears to be stepping away from getting involved in discussions of the specific technology or services that might ultimately run over these frequencies, or in licensing companies to be able to use the spectrum.

White space devices would use a “geolocation database” that contains live information about which frequencies are free to use at their current location. Ofcom intends to make it possible for interested companies to host such databases in 2011.

Professor William Webb, Director of Technology Resources at Ofcom, said: ‘The airwaves that wireless devices depend on are becoming increasingly congested. Using the white spaces between TV channels is a good example of how we can use spectrum more efficiently.’

Posted by Sam Churchill on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 at 11:46 am .

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