U.K. telco watchdog consults on draft regulations to allocate another 125 MHz of 5-GHz frequencies for licence-exempt use.

Ofcom on Thursday pushed ahead with plans to free up more 5-GHz spectrum for WiFi with the launch of a second consultation on its proposals.

The U.K. telco regulator wants to allocate an additional 125 MHz of frequencies in the 5.8 GHz band, which is already used for WiFi in a number of countries in Europe as well as the U.S. In doing so, the number of 80 MHz channels will increase to six from four.

"This additional spectrum will allow for more and wider channels to become available for WiFi, enabling better quality of experience and releasing congestion from neighbouring users," Ofcom said, in its consultation document.

The watchdog first consulted on the proposal in May 2016, setting out a range of options for increasing the amount of available WiFi spectrum at 5 GHz. Its short-term plan centres on airwaves in the 5725 MHz-5850 MHz band, while in the medium-to-long-term, Ofcom plans to look at freeing up other 5-GHz frequencies.

The consultation launched today specifically invites public comments on Ofcom’s plan to push ahead with its short-term plan.

"In relation to the medium and longer-term options…we have not reached a decision on those options at this stage, but will continue to explore these possibilities," Ofcom said.

The consultation also invites comments on technical conditions it proposes to apply to the spectrum, such as power limitations and a ban on fixed outdoor use to prevent interference with satellite signals.

Interested parties have until 11 April to respond.