back to article Ofcom set to release interesting spectrum chunk for unlicenced use

Following its January consultation Ofcom plans to release another 12MHz of spectrum into the unlicensed wilds, to the benefit of hobbyists and utilities alike. The two bands start at 870 and 915MHz and are both 6MHz wide. In January Ofcom noted that the MoD hadn't yet agreed to the release, and that the EU was considering …


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  1. Canopus

    Unlicenced? Really? I am so corry to hear cuch a thing !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I never thought of that before. What a cilly sunt...

    2. Martin 71 Silver badge

      There seems to be something wrong with your keyboard

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      After 4 downvotes, have an upvote from someone who knows the difference between licence and license...

  2. Robert E A Harvey

    Oh, interesting

    I might experiment with my old idea of 'meshing' all my family internet feeds together between the houses

  3. Mark #255

    "Right now Smart Meters, which have been mandated by the UK government, have to use cellular networks which is both expensive and inefficient, so alternatives are eagerly sought."

    Of course they don't have to use the cellular network. They could use low data-rate PLT (it's only the high bandwidth type that has the radio hams up in arms), or something else which already exists. (What's that you say, Skippy? Lots of people have broadband connections that could be used to transfer a few kB a month?)

    The thing is, if the utilities have to develop an alternative, they can probably get government funding for it. Using existing solutions (GSM or PLT, or...) won't attract that cash.

    1. Velv Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Expensive is a relative term. Cellular data might be more expensive per message than setting up your own network, but you've got the cost of setting up your own network.

      So if you choose a different wireless solution, you've got to put in the base stations. Similarly with PLT, but you've got all sorts of other equipment on the line that will interfere with signals (a lot of the protection gear has frequency filters). And you need to have repeaters in 5Km circles a bit like the cellular network.

      I agree broadband could be used - perhaps the government should be mandating that all properties have a fixed line service installed as a national backbone, even if the property owner or user doesn't have any subscribed services. Could be used for all sorts of things in addition to smart meters.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "perhaps the government should be mandating that all properties have a fixed line service installed as a national backbone, even if the property owner or user doesn't have any subscribed services"

        So who's going to pay for that? 14% of UK properties don't have a landline, so the cost isn't going to be cheap.

        "Could be used for all sorts of things in addition to smart meters"

        Like what? No use for spying if they aren't using an interwebbed computer in the first place...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on a minute, they want to use my internet connection to report home? NO. Not a chance. I decide what I connect and to a certain degree what data is transferred. It does also raise a slight irony rating at the fact they would be using your electric and internet to report back, thus costing you money, albeit a very small amount.

    I'll agree to that, when the power companies pay me for access to my network & my facilities. In other words, never.

  5. Ed 13

    Can't use U.S. Equipment

    Please don't think this will men you can use US "915 Band" equipment in the UK.

    The FCC and IC 915 Band stretches from 902 to 928MHz, so is much wider than this new allocation.

    The band is squashed in around the GSM900 Frequencies. Uplinks (phone to base station) are 876 to 915 and downlinks are 921 to 960, which is one of the reasons that the US use GSM850 instead.

    1. Bill Ray (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Can't use U.S. Equipment

      Agreed - not all US kit will be usable here.

      You'll notice that the SparkFun link is to a tunable device which will fit within the proposed bands, and there's still questions over broadcast power and duty cycle which might not match, but we'll have to see how that pans out.

      Some kit will be usable here, and some with minor modification (and thus relatively cheap), so I stand by the assertion that it will be fun.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can't use U.S. Equipment

        It is also the band used for GSM-R railway signalling in Europe so might not find much favour outside of the UK and no doubt because the proximity to GSM 900 will have fairly restrictive tx powers allowed.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really Smart Idea...

    There is one thing missing here, if your broadband is provided over normal telephone lines, these are subject to all kinds of nasty electrical transients, residual lightning surges, etc. The smart meter people are proposing to connect your smart gas meter to a device connected to your telephone line!!

    I don't think someone has really thought this through, must be the dumbest smart idea ever...

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