Feeds

Wireless power limit doubled to bridge digital divide

And UWB licences to be axed

High performance access to file storage

Ofcom has allowed fixed broadband internet providers to double the power of their signals in a move the UK telecoms regulator says will help bridge the digital divide.

The new rules apply to the 5.8GHz frequency, which is used by fixed WiMax radio technology for wireless internet connections. The frequency is subject to light regulation from Ofcom which allows the registration of terminals at its website.

The power of base stations in the spectrum is limited, though. They will now be able to increase the power they emit from two to four watts. This will extend the reach of each base station.

The regulator said in its announcement of the change that this will allow providers to extend the coverage areas and bridge the digital divide.

"Concern has been raised that a so-called digital divide exists in the availability of services, particularly broadband, in rural and urban areas in the UK," said an Ofcom statement. "Ofcom's Communications Market Report: Nations and Regions showed that the gap is closing and 41 per cent of adults in rural areas have broadband internet at home compared to 45 per cent of adults in urban areas. Changing regulation in this band, enabling greater geographical coverage, could help to increase access to wireless broadband in rural areas."

The decision is the result of a consultation into the rise in power limits.

Ofcom has also said it will soon change its regulations so that users of equipment that communicates via ultra wide band (UWB) technology will no longer need licences. The very short range systems are commonly used for video wireless or camera wireless systems.

The rule change will bring the UK into line with an EU Directive which demands that regulations be changed by 21 August.

"Globalisation of the marketplace and increased interest from businesses in the potential of UWB technology has led to a growing need for more international solutions which utilise spectrum in a harmonised manner for UWB technology," said Ofcom.

"UWB solutions now have the advanced technical characteristics necessary, for example, to allow for the co-location of multiple devices in a small area which is a requirement of the Short Range Device, consumer electronics, retail and logistics industries. Implementation of the Decision on UWB will go some way towards addressing these requirements and enable the benefits of this new technology to be realised."

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Related links

The 5.8GHz announcement (pdf)
The UWB regulations proposal

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.