London Zoo animals have their own Youtube livestream / Creative Commons

Meerkats and otters are being broadcast on Youtube using a new wireless technology called 'white space'

Meerkats, Asian otters and giant Galapagos tortoises from London Zoo are the stars of new Youtube livestream channels that use a new wireless technology called ‘white space’.

Google and London Zoo have partnered with regulator Ofcom to explore the potential of the small gaps between the spectrum frequencies used for TV broadcasting, the BBC has reported.

TV White Space (TVWS) derives from the radio waves used by TV, and can travel further than other wireless systems such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and also more effectively bypass walls.

These London Zoo streams is one of the most high-profile attempts to utilise this brand new connection technology.

Here are the meerkats

Using Google’s spectrum database, to ensure no interference with existing channels, the trial dubbed Whitespaces for Wildlife will broadcast all day every day footage of the Zoo creatures.

Project co-ordinator Louise Hartley told the BBC: "Remote monitoring of wildlife is a vital conservation tool, from helping us to better understand species behaviour

"The prototype systems at ZSL London Zoo are already demonstrating that they can transmit high definition video over long distances, confirming their invaluable potential to use wireless connectivity to transform ZSL's (Zoological Society of London) worldwide conservation work."

She said the technology may be used in the future in places where poaching and illegal logging are damaging wildlife.

Here are the Asian otters

There have been tests for internet access for rural communities, Wi-Fi-like services, wireless video streaming, or ‘machine-to-machine’ networks.

The Oxford Flood Network will use TVWS to run a wireless sensor network that provides early flood warning, whilst ferries around the Orkney Islands will run a test to see if the white spaces can resolve broadband difficulties at sea.

Ofcom hopes the technology will be more widely introduced in 2015 following the trials, and also policy development.

It intends to free up further spectrum for future high-speed data services, and plans to explore whether other white spaces can be used similarly.

Here are the Galapagos tortoises

Philip Marnick, group director of Ofcom’s Spectrum Policy Group, told the BBC: "In a world where consumers’ demand for data services is experiencing huge growth, it is essential we find the most efficient ways to share the airwaves. White space technology could be one way of meeting this demand.

"These trials are an important first step in Ofcom understating whether white space can be used in other spectrum bands.”

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