While start-ups are planning to offer free ad-subsidised wireless broadband in the US, the Ofcom (Office of Communications) has proposed to open up new spectrum bands to allow wireless fixed broadband services.
In effect, Ofcom is looking to substantially increase the percentage of individuals who have access to broadband internet. A particular point noted in the press release is use of the licensed bands.
This will offer very high performance, point-to-point wireless network capable of speeds ranging from 1Gbps to 10Gbps over short distances, typically 1 or 2 km.
Even the latest FTTP (fibre to the premises) technologies cannot reach those speeds and current copper-based broadband would look positively outgunned.
Unlike what has happened for 3G though, Ofcom wants to provide the band on a first come first served basis rather than auctioning it to the highest bidder. Gordon Brown might not be happy with this approach but it is refreshingly different. It is unknown how and on what basis the offer will be.
Overcrowding is not something that will happen soon since the high frequency used will ensure that there is no interference between users. The consultation will run for another two months.