Ofcom boosts broadband power

Wireless broadband will reach more businesses as the telecoms regulator allows operators to double the power of their base stations

The power will be turned up on many of the UK's broadband wireless connections after Ofcom relaxed its regulations.

The telecoms regulator will allow the power output of broadband wireless base stations to be doubled to four watts, which will extend the coverage of such services. "It means that the signal can travel further so it can give greater coverage to more people," an Ofcom spokesperson said on Friday.

The increase in permitted power levels will apply to the 5.8GHz frequency, a part of the radio spectrum which could become critical to the delivery of broadband in areas where it may not be financially viable to roll out wired broadband. The band is unlicensed and can be used for fixed WiMax, a radio technology which can cover large areas economically. The frequency is already being used in municipal projects such as a meshed Wi-Fi network in Norwich, where a 5.8GHz connection provides the backhaul.

Ofcom's decision follows the completion of a consultation on the power of wireless base stations which was launched in July 2006.


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