Spare TV spectrum to boost island's broadband
Nov 10th 2016, 15:24 by Charlotte Whyatt
The Scottish Isle of Arran is set to receive vastly improved broadband speeds via a spare wireless spectrum left behind when the UK’s Digital TV switchover occurred back between 2007 and 2012.
The project is a collaboration between domain registry site Nominet and broadband campaign group Broadway Partners and is part of the effort to help bridge the urban rural broadband divide and bring a stronger connection to some of the UK’s most remote communities.
Known as TV white space, old frequencies which have lain unused since the complete digital switchover will be employed to carry this superfast broadband across to the remote island.
Three of the biggest benefits which come from using these abandoned frequencies are the fact they’re plentiful in number, incredibly easy to access and don’t require any expensive additional infrastructure in order to launch a new service over them.
“TV white space has proved its mettle, cutting through hard to reach rural forested areas which, in fixed wireless terms, is pretty much unheard of,” said Michael Armitage, founding director of Broadband Partners. “This technology will be a powerful tool in the drive to deliver affordable broadband access for all communities throughout Scotland and abroad”.
Nominet have previously trialled TV white space technology back in October 2014 when they created a wireless flood detection network up in Oxford. TV white space was employed to monitor the level of the local river as it was able to easily reach an area that both wired internet and wi-fi couldn’t.
Microsoft too have experimented with TV white space, using a spare spectrum to broadcast high-speed, long distance broadband to a boat sailing out in the Solent.
Arran is set to be completely serviced by TV white space for faster broadband by the end of 2017.
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