The ‘Edith Maersk’, the biggest ship ever on the Thames / PA

Plan could connect ships to the internet using the technology that can travel longer and more easily than wifi and bluetooth

Ofcom has given the green light for “TV white space”, an innovative wireless technology which can be used to connect ships to the internet and run video streaming of animals at ZSL London Zoo.

“White spaces” are gaps in the radio spectrum in frequency bands, which can be used to offer new wireless applications to benefit consumers and businesses.

White space spectrum in the TV frequency band is appealing for industry because it can travel longer distances and more easily through walls than the bands mainly used by other wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Test have found a range of uses for the technology, such as delivering internet access for ships and boats in the Orkney Islands, which have no wireless broadband availability.

A trial at ZSL London Zoo used a TV white space network to stream live video of the Zoo’s meerkats, Asian otters and giant Galapagos tortoises to YouTube. The signals are able to penetrate foliage and buildings to establish a fast data connection capable of streaming high quality video.

The trial used Google’s spectrum database and will help ZSL London Zoo test the technology for use in additional efforts to monitor and protect endangered animals in the wild.

White Space is also being used for new “machine-to-machine” networks for flood defence in Oxfordshire.