Ofcom: More spectrum means better Wi-Fi for all

UK Wi-Fi speeds are about to improve as Ofcom has decided to push ahead with plans to free up spectrum space in the 5GHz band.

After a consultation last year, Ofcom will open up an additional 125Mhz of radio spectrum in the all-important 5.8GHz band.

As Ofcom explained in its release: “Consumer demand for Wi-Fi to connect wireless devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops is growing at a fast pace.

“High capacity applications such as video streaming are driving this demand and will increase the need for bandwidth required for Wi-Fi devices.”

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The particular part of the spectrum that Ofcom has chosen to open up will increase the number of 80MHz channels from four to six. The move has also topped up the 40MHz band by three channels and the 20MHz by six.

Blasting through all the jargon, it means your Wi-Fi will be less crowded than it was before and connection speeds should get faster – as long as your router can handle it.

Stakeholders have until April 11 to respond to this proposal and Ofcom is also working with the manufacturers of smartphones, tablets, and laptops to work out what, if anything, they must do to benefit from licence-free use of the new spectrum space.

Considering Ofcom’s recent findings that more than 1.4 million homes in the UK don’t have a fast enough connection to even use Netflix, anything that speeds things up should be welcomed with open arms.

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Is the UK doing enough to improve Wi-Fi connectivity? Let us know in the comments below.