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TV white space

TV white space (TVWS) is the name given to the parts of wireless spectrum that were freed up as part of the digital TV switchover in the UK. TVWS can create two-way communications at a relatively high-data rates over long distances and urban environments so it's good for transmitting applications such as video or collating lots of local area data, like sensors, and transferring it over long distances. It's also good for enabling WiFi in large open areas where it would be inconvenient to put in new connections.

With more and more machines connected to the internet, our phones, TVs, cars, electric meters, fridges, security, fire alarms and even our heating, this kind of technology could really fuel the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the UK.

The available set of TVWS frequencies varies, so the database that Nominet has developed performs complex calculations and tells devices which frequencies they can use in that area, at what power and for how long. Nominet, best-known as the organisation responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .UK internet infrastructure, is currently involved in a number of projects related to TVWS in order to learn about and foster this new technology.

Here in Oxford, we have been pioneering our TVWS technology to power the Oxford Flood Network, providing wireless connectivity for the flood sensors. Nominet sees great potential in the use of TVWS in both smart cities and connecting remote rural areas. For more information please see the Nominet R&D blog or contact tvws@nominet.org.uk.




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