Response to Ofcom’s TV white space policy announcement

12th February 2015

Ofcom has today announced the next stage of its plans to utilise TV white space (TVWS), a project Nominet has been involved with since October 2013.

Russell Haworth, CEO, Nominet comments: “Today’s announcement of the first specifications for TVWS in Europe is proof that dynamic spectrum allocation works and it’s significant. The relentless demand for connectivity means innovative ways to optimise spectrum will become a necessity. We are really proud to be a part of Ofcom’s pilot on TVWS and we are looking forward to contributing to further innovative developments in this area.”

TVWS uses the wireless spectrum freed up by the switch to digital TV broadcasting. The available set of TVWS frequencies varies, so the database that Nominet developed performs complex calculations and tells devices which frequencies they can use in that area and for how long. This kind of technology can bring connectivity over large distances, works in remote areas that WiFi often cannot reach and could really fuel the growth of the Internet of Things in the UK.

Oxford-based Nominet is the only UK company in the pilot to develop a TVWS database and to direct the new technology at Internet of Things (IoT) applications. We are currently using our TVWS database to power the Oxford Flood Network to monitor water levels in the Thames and Cherwell rivers. Sensors measure the water levels in the local area in real-time and send the data instantly over the Internet allowing users to get the most up-to-date picture of the affected areas, giving local residents a much better idea of imminent flooding in their area.

Adam Leach, Director of Research and Development at Nominet adds: “We are hugely enjoying this project, which is now at an exciting stage. We have played to our strengths while also learning and we hope to continue our work not only to optimise available spectrum, but use it to solve real-world challenges in our towns and cities.”