MacBooks now Core 2 Duo

Apple today updated the MacBooks to the Core 2 Duo CPU. They now come standard with 1GB of RAM and bigger hard disks (they now support up to 160GB 5400RPM SATA disks or 200GB using a 4200RPM disk).

The only thing they need now is an updated graphics card (which doesn't share the system memory) and they'll be almost perfect.

Ofcom to lightly license 71-76GHz & 81-86GHz Bands.

Ofcom is going to lightly license the 71-76GHz & 81-86GHz Bands, allowing fixed point to point high bandwidth links. There will be an unlimited number of licenses and no interference protection from licensed users (i.e. they'll have to fight it out between themselves).

Issue Policy
Available Spectrum Ofcom will make available two bands, specifically 71.125-75.875 GHz and 81.125-85.875 GHz for broadband point to point fixed wireless links.

Block/Channel Size - A 4.75 GHz block in each band.

Licence - An unlimited number of non-exclusive national licences will be available, subject to revocation on a standard 5 year notice period. Each licence may contain an unlimited number of assignments.

Fees Licence fee - free of charge.
- Each link assignment £50 per link registered per year or part year (where applicable).

Licensing Process - Light licensed and e-enabled link registration process. To open the band at the earliest possible time, an interim procedure will be implemented while Ofcom’s online facility (currently under development) is completed.
- Links will be registered on a publicly accessible register with first in time priority.

Coordination between links - Links will be self co-ordinated i.e. coordinating between links will be the responsibility of the licence holder.

Trading - All forms of transfer will be permitted.

Frequency Block Clearance - The Spectrum Bands have been block cleared to permit fast track frequency clearance (see OfW 197) i.e. link assignments will not be required to undergo the full three week National Frequency Assignment Panel (NFAP) process and be considered at NFAP meetings.

Site Clearance - Links breaching thresholds given in OfW 191 will require site clearance. Licensees will be required to declare that site clearance thresholds are met/ links have been site cleared before a registration can be made.

Equipment and Antennas - Must conform to essential requirements of the RTTE Directive and UK Interface Requirement 2000.

Maximum EIRP - Maximum Radio Regulations limit, 55dBW.

Max Transmit - Power delivered to the antenna 0 dBW

Other Users of the Band - Ofcom will permit the operation of the Amateur and Amateur Satellite allocations on a primary basis within the upper guard band of the 71-76 GHz block i.e. 75.875-76 GHz band. Amateur and Amateur Satellite use between 75.5 – 75.875 GHz will be permitted on a secondary basis.

Review of the interference approach - It is intended that a review of the interference approach is undertaken when sufficient experience has been gained to assess if any refinements to the approach are necessary

Though Ofcom are making this a lightly licensed band, equipment costs are going to be high, so it's only likely to be of use to companies that need short range, high bandwidth links.

1m unbundled lines

The independent Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA) has announced that there are now one million unbundled lines.

When 1.5m lines have been unbundled (or April 2007 whichever comes first), BT Wholesale can set new pricing for DSL services, which means they are likely to plummet. This is good for the consumer, but it means the economics for Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) operators will mean even larger scale is needed as margins are liable to drop further. This will see further consolidation and there'll be an even smaller number of big players, which eventually leads back to the old market with BT and maybe one or two large players left.


LLU not hitting rural areas

IT Week quoted me again re rural broadband and who's going to survive the broadband consolidation wars.