Ofcom expects white space technology to be live in the UK by 2013 after announcing that white space devices will not require licences to access spectrum.
The technology is regarded as one of the key ways in which the UK could close the digital divide, by taking advantage of unused spectrum in different locations to offer broadband signals in these gaps and run machine-to-machine communications.
Removing the need for a licence to operate in the available spectrum will make it easier for companies to develop devices and applications that latch on to available spectrum and broadcast signals.
Ofcom will now consult on draft legislation to implement this measure, and work with various stakeholders on the best ways to put the information on spectrum availability in different locations on a central database.
The regulator said that, if the work progresses as planned, the technology could be live by as early as 2013.
Ovum analyst Matthew Howett agreed that this is a feasible timescale, and that the use of white space technology is an important element of the UK's broadband future.
"Removing the need for licences will make it a lot quicker for vendors to take advantage of this technology, and it's highly likely that it could be up and running by 2013," he told V3.
"The use of white space technology is likely to form one of the many different ways in which the UK closes the digital divide. It's not a silver bullet, but it will certainly play a part."
Howett added that the main issue Ofcom needs to address to meet the 2013 target is creating a database of available spectrum in different locations so that companies can build devices that work in different geographical areas.
Many firms are already developing technology that could take advantage of white space spectrum, including Microsoft, Nokia and BT, which is also trialling its use for delivering wireless broadband on the island of Bute in Scotland.
Ofcom has also said that it will look to use FM radio spectrum to increase the available spectrum that can be accessed by devices using white space technology.
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