White Spaces Could Bring Broadband To 2 Million Premises

The use of unlicensed TV White Spaces in the broadband spectrum could bring broadband services to 2 million currently unserved premises.

"Entire rural communities could be rapidly connected using low cost hardware operating in unlicensed TV white space," according to Richard Walker, Head of Wireless at TTP. TTP is one of the companies involved in the Cambridge White Space Consortium trials. Walker also said that this project is ultimately worth £10 billion to the UK economy.

The 10 month trial also involved the BBC, Arqive, DTG and Microsoft, and took place in rural and urban Cambridge.

TTP collaborated with Neul to deliver a broadband service of 8 Mbps over a single 8MHz TV channel via a white space link. The link was between its headquarters in Melbourn, south of Cambridge and the remote village of Orwell, 5.5km away.

"The cost of deployment is significantly lower and faster than fibre over long distances in remote areas," said Walker. "Consumers will simply have to purchase a second TV aerial along with a white space router similar in size and price to existing home reuters, while we would expect service charges to be similar to current ADSL costs."

"The main barrier to entry today is regulation," Walker goes on to explain. "However with the UK Government committed to delivering broadband to all and Ofcom driving the legislation, we may see deployment of white space systems and applications as early as 2013."