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back to article Will 'wi-fi on steroids' give you spots, baldness and liver damage?

The FCC has voted to allow unlicensed use of White Space spectrum between the TV stations. Meanwhile UK-regulator Ofcom today published a statement on cooperative common spectrum, but both proposals are based on technically unproven concepts of radio agility that hardly stack up. The concept of a radio that happily hops around …

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Liver spots

Hypothetical situation: your arbitrary fixed-band wireless device doesn't work because your neighbour has a badly-behaved white-space device. You'd start to wish you had your own white-space device which does nothing more than 'reserve' the bit of the spectrum your fixed-band box needs. It would be sold in the kind of paper shop that sells headphones and faded plastic toys.

Having bought this device, which works great because it has many lights on it, your neighbour's white-space thingy switches to another band, messing up their neighbours on the other side, and so they get one too and the white-space box starts using the GSM band in desperation. Eventually you have fifty of these things in your house squatting all the local spectrum and charging a toll on drivers who wish to use their phone while driving past your house, and you're in court in three weeks to argue the toss with her-over-the-road who's claiming she had first dibs on all the Wifi channels. You have to sell your car to pay for lawyers and electricity, and the stress gives you liver spots.

So yes to the byline.

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Why will the genie not go back in?

Before the FCC and any airwave regulatory body, the airwaves were unregulated (duh).

Then the genie went into a bottle.

Now the FCC are letting the genie out.

Well, why won't the genie go in this time?

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Silver badge
Pirate

Test me!

"After all - would you be prepared to interfere with your neighbour's TV reception for the sake of a decent network for your BitTorrent downloads..."

Uh.... do you have to ask? :)

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@Mark

The EM spectrum is a finite shared limited resource that must be managed by a regulatory authority for the good of all users.

Letting a bunch of cowboys loose on it is just a bad idea. No they won't behave politely. No it won't work.

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Bronze badge
Stop

Physics vs Revenue

Is there anyone in spectrum regulation that has the slightest clue about physics, or are they all paper pushing bureaucrats looking to squeeze every penny out of the airwaves, never mind how much chaos it causes?

Sorry, I can't believe I needed to ask that, we already know the answer.

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@alistair

Have a look at the 3G spread-spectrum methods of communication: bandwidth is limited by your noise floor in your detector, NOT the frequency width.

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Stop

Re: Liver Spots

Hypothetical situation: your arbitrary fixed-band wireless device does work and your head explodes.

Ban it now, think of the children.

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Ultra wideband

Is this some type of ultra-wideband technology? Where the spectrum is used in a random spread spectrum way. Traditional radio services use a tuned circuit which picks up a carrier at a cirtain frequency and the audio (or whatever data) is filtered off using a simple diode or capacitor or something more fancy.

The original radio broadcasts did not use a carrier just a great fat spark and the idea was to get a smaller spark at the reciever. I believe Ultra-wideband does not use a carrier as such, the signal is directly modulated in a way analogus to a speaker modulating sound waves. I believe that ADSL has dispenced with the carrier, or at least it does not confine itself to a single frequency.

I think that more creative use of the spectrum is possible but if there are problems then they are going to be hard to figure out, just as with WiFi on 2.4GHz in built up areas. With out an actual carrier signal it's going to be hard for the regulators to identify what they are regulating.

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Rob
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"White space"

I'm sure when I went to school they were called guard bands

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