US approve of Super Wi-Fi - soon to hit the UK?
Stateside, a bunch of regulators have paved the way for faster wireless devices - which is being dubbed Super Wi-Fi (and won't be nearly as exciting as a superhero like Super Gran, but whatever) - by opening unused television airwaves for mobile broadband use.
Basically, operators will be able to occupy the idle spectrum, which is the first significant release of unlicensed spectrum in 25 years. What this means for human beings who want Wi-Fi is that there'll be greater broadband connectivity.
The empty airwaves are called "white spaces" and they were freed up during the digital television transition last year. These frequencies allow signals to travel faster, penetrate walls much more easily and, most importantly, cover a much larger geographical area than current spectrum.
This means that internet speeds will be quicker for everyone and that broadband will be readily available in rural areas. And something similar is happening in the UK too. The government will auction off white space in 2011 which should create a similar deal for this country to what is currently being projected in the States. The auction will see two chunks of the spectrum - the 800MHz (the spectrum freed by the digital switchover) and 2.6GHz bands - sold off.
In short, soon, we should have mega-fast broadband and, of course, with that, the ISPs will find new ways to charge us for it. Still, you'll be able to stream whatever filth you watch on your laptops a whole lot quicker, even if you live with a pig in a hut up a hill.