FryUp: Play nicely together; BCL & Walker wireless show us how

Top Stories: - A challenge to play nicely together - BCL and Walker Wireless show us how

Top Stories:

- A challenge to play nicely together

- BCL and Walker Wireless show us how

- A challenge to play nicely together

Ah, the fun of walking down the street with a Wi-Fi-enabled notebook and effortlessly stumbling across corporate wireless networks operating in the area. Such was a little experiment reported on by Paul Brislen a couple of years ago, to highlight the need for security on a slice of unlicensed spectrum, the 2.4GHz band used for Wi-Fi or 802.11 wireless services.

Now there is a new band for us to jostle in spectrum-wise. Yesterday communications minister Paul Swain said that more radio spectrum has been freed up for public, unlicensed use.Under a one-year pilot the government has allocated “public park” spectrum in the upper 5GHz band, which won’t require a licence but which won’t be protected from interference by other users, either.

Townies could find it a bit crowded but country-folk might be better spaced to use the new spectrum and, of course, being free, it will lower the cost of providing data to rural areas. Provincial ISP Internet Hawkes Bay told Computerworld it is keen and operators in the region plan to set up an unlicensed spectrum user group to avoid interference between each other’s equipment. Here’s hoping such a sensible approach prevails throughout the rest of the country in the year to come.

Swain opens door on high-power spectrum – Computerworld online

'Public park' radio frequency released – NZ Herald online

Wireless LANs found wide open – Computerworld online

- BCL and Walker Wireless show us how

Government-owned BCL and Walker Wireless this week gave a heart-warming display of sandpit sharing when they reached an out-of-court settlement over vagaries in a radio spectrum licence granted by the Ministry of Economic Development to Walker Wireless.

The outlook wasn’t so rosy a month ago when BCL asked the High Court to review the award of the 2GHz licence. BCL said that Walker Wireless' new technology interfered with its transmissions and alleged that a radio engineer incorrectly certified that its services wouldn’t harm BCL's broadband service. It wanted an injunction to stop Walker Wireless from transmitting on radio frequencies next to its own.

BCL said it had no option but to go to court because negotiations with Walker Wireless broke down. But somehow they got back into “some fairly intensive discussions” and have agreed to work with the ministry to develop wording for Walker Wireless’ licence which spells out how interference will be avoided.

So a happy ending to what could have been a long and bitter legal dispute. Both companies were probably impatient to get back to the business of vying to win the 14 regional tenders in Project Probe -- a rollout of broadband around the country funded by the Ministries of Economic Development and Education and designed to get high-speed internet into rural schools.

Walker Wireless in conjunction with Vodafone has won the first three, for Northland, Southland and Wairarapa. BCL, which has teamed with Telecom, has yet to score.

BCL-WW settlement: politics didn't come into it – Computerworld online

BCL backdown on law suit

BCL and Walker Wireless settle spectrum dispute – Stuff

BCL still hopes to win regional schools' tenders – Stuff

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