Connectivity is a pressing issue in our digital age, and is not as ubiquitous as many assume. Superfast broadband has an availability of 95% in urban areas, but just 66% in rural villages. Those living in isolated areas should not be denied the same connections of city dwellers, yet they continue to struggle to access the internet, to the detriment of social lives and business opportunities.
This issue is close to the heart of Nominet’s Emerging Technology team. In the past few years, we have sought to demonstrate the role that spectrum sharing and dynamic spectrum management (DSM) can play in connecting rural communities. Predominantly, we have been applying DSM through our use of TV White Space (TVWS), to success in Arran, Monmouthshire and Loch Ness to date. This database works by dynamically identifying available spectrum left vacant after the digital switch over, making use of available resources and improving the connections in rural locales. That said, the same technology can work across any available spectrum and could be a powerful tool in the deployment of 5G.