back to article Ofcom set to fatten up London's White Space TV spectrum

Next year Londoners will get access to 72MHz of unlicensed radio spectrum, all in the prime sub-1GHz band, as Ofcom prepares to open the TV airwaves to anyone with a database handy. Ofcom's new consultation on opening up White Space frequencies shows London as the biggest winner thanks to the presence of the Crystal Palace …

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  1. markw:

    Spelling!

    meters -> metres

  2. HMB

    Well I'd suggest last mile broadband links in rural communities, but apparently London isn't a rural community and is already well serviced for broadband.

    If we do get white space being used for broadband links, can we please use LTE? At least that actually produces 90 Mbps actual throughput. I'm worried if the WiFi people get their grubby mits on it they'll devise a new standard that runs at 5 Terabits per second at the PHY but only produces real throughputs of 24 Mbps with consumer kit :P

  3. Knoydart
    Stop

    The last sentence sums it up, apart from the pmse, what is it useful for? I'm failing to see the killer app

    1. jaywin

      The PMSE crowd already have a licensing regime in place and have done for decades. It's not like the US where they just use the spectrum without oversight, Ofcom has been making loadsamoney out of them for years by doing short term (12h+) licences for spectrum they have identified as being available.

      If you're in the middle of a live broadcast, you don't want someone marking your current allocation on your presenter mic as now being unavailable causing it to retune, so the database will be of no interest to the incumbents.

  4. Mage Silver badge

    This will end in tears

    Also will folks stop using the STUPID American expression that suggests the spectrum is empty.

    It's not and this is vandalism against the Broadcast spectrum which is supposed to be protected.

    It's unbelievable naivety to believe that:

    * People won't ignore the Database

    * The Database can be accurate enoungh

    * That people won't add Yagi or high power

    * That it won't destroy reception for some people in "local" blackspots having to use further off transmitters.

    People WILL NOT know what is causing pixellation or freezing nor know who to complain to.

    What are Ofcom, FCC and Comreg smoking?

    1. HMB

      Re: This will end in tears

      > It's not and this is vandalism against the Broadcast spectrum which is supposed to be protected.

      This notion that a specific region of the EM spectrum is sacrosanct to broadcasting TV is an outmoded idea born out of a legacy situation from before computers existed.

      The spectrum is there for the best benefit of society. In the middle of the 20th century, fair enough, perhaps TV was the best use we could have of it. In the future an increasingly data intensive wireless society is going to need a lot more bandwidth. I know 4G will do us for now, but there's only so much MIMO you can squeeze into a handset economically and the next wave of bandwidth hikes are going to need to come from more frequency bandwidth.

      The spectrum should be used where it can do most good, not according to an old, outdated doctrine.

      I'm not suggesting leaving people out in the cold but we need to be taking baby steps to be moving on. I already use the iPlayer radio app in my car more than I use my radio. The transition has already started and I like it. (I get to listen to Radio 4 comedy and science stuff when it suits me, rather than being forced to listen to the archers because that's just what's on.)

      > People won't ignore the Database

      This is going to be non-optional and baked into the firmware and quite frankly if you can hack that there's nothing from stopping you from messing around with software radio regardless.

      > The Database can be accurate enoungh

      Don't you think radio experts with knowledge of transmitters, powers and topographical maps can figure out the relative strengths of signal? Really?? Funny, because my mobile network knows it's coverage on a map and does quite well.

      > That people won't add Yagi or high power

      Fair concern.

      > That it won't destroy reception for some people in "local" blackspots having to use further off transmitters.

      Well if that local blackspot receives from further off transmitters successfully it would be on the more distant transmitter map, so what's your problem?

      > People WILL NOT know what is causing pixellation or freezing nor know who to complain to.

      Completely agree with you here, if there's a problem.

  5. Peter Foulkes

    Not just the actors.

    Your oft repeated description of the current users of this band as Luvvies overlooks just how many different people use this space. The radio mics, wireless guitar packs and in ear monitor systems that many musicians at all levels, from pubs to arenas, rely on will also be affected.

    Peter

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