Ofcom proposes increased wi-fi power to aid rural broadband

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Ofcom is proposing an increase to the power of Wi-Fi transmitters
in order to help give those in rural areas access to broadband.

The cost of installing any kind of broadband in more remote areas is often prohibitive, so a move to pump out more power over wi-fi transmitters could be the answer.

Hotspots might be the current trend in city areas – where the main choice is how broadband is delivered, not whether it can be delivered at all – but they tend to work fine at current power output levels.

Up to 3% of the British population live in areas that can’t get high-speed Internet access. The most likely solution is to up the power on the upper third of the 2.4GHz frequency to 10W (the MoD use the bottom two thirds of the range).

Though some transmitters can get a software upgrade to increase their power output, most would need to be replaced.

Of course, even if this happens, the choice of broadband providers for rural areas won’t be as wide as for those in larger towns, but at least it will be a connection.

Andy Merrett