Ofcom announce changes to Wi-Fi plus a further EECC consultation

Improving spectrum access for Wi-Fi

Today Ofcom announced that they are enhancing spectrum access for Wi-Fi, this follows a previous consultation period.

They have decided to - in brief (from their statement):

  • Make the lower 6 GHz band (5925-6425 MHz) available for Wi-Fi and other RLAN technologies. Opening this band will make more channels available, increase capacity and reduce congestion in existing bands caused by large numbers of devices.
  • The release of this spectrum will also enable very low power (VLP) outdoor use. This will enable the development of new, innovative applications.
  • Remove the Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) requirements from channels used by Wi-Fi in the 5.8 GHz band (5725-5850 MHz). DFS requires a router to scan for radars and to switch channel if suspected radar transmissions are detected. DFS can therefore represent a constraint for equipment manufacturers regarding quality of service and throughput as well as being the cause of connection delays for users. We are amending the requirements on this band on the basis that the risk of undue interference from indoor Wi-Fi use is extremely low. The removal of DFS will increase its use for indoor wireless applications and help reduce congestion in other bands.

You can find more information here.

Further EECC consultation 

Following previous announcements Ofcom are now consulting on two revised proposals before they publish their final decisions in Autumn 2020. These are:

  • Ofcom are proposing to revise the scope of their annual best tariff information rules; and
  • They are revising their proposed definitions for ‘microenterprise’ and ‘small enterprise’ customers, and not-for-profit organisations.

The questions in the consultation are:

  • Do you agree with our proposed changes to the GCs and our Guidance on General Condition C1 in relation to annual best tariff information?    
  • Do you agree with our proposal to remove financial thresholds from microenterprise and small enterprise customer definitions?
  • Do you agree with our proposal to revise the headcount threshold for small enterprises down to 10 staff members and to merge this definition with that for microenterprises? Please provide evidence to support your view.    
  • Do you agree with our revised proposed definition of not for profit customer? 
  • Do you agree that the guidance we have proposed to help providers identify employee headcount should also apply to not for profit organisations?  

Ofcom invite responses to this consultation by 11 September 2020. 

More information can be found here. 

  • Sophie James

    Sophie James

    Broadband Stakeholder Group, Central Government, Communications Infrastructure, Financial Services
    T 020 7331 2038
  • Jo O'Riordan

    Jo O'Riordan

    Head of Spectrum Policy and Telecoms
    T 020 7331 2191

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