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Airwave Preps Trial of Wireless Broadband Service in Rural North Yorkshire

Monday, November 10th, 2014 (8:51 am) - Score 1,584

Slough-based Airwave, which in June 2014 was selected as one of eight pilot projects for the Government’s £10m Innovation Fund (part of the national Broadband Delivery UK scheme), has announced that the rural village of West Witton (Wensleydale, England) will be among the first to benefit from their new Fixed Wireless Access technology trials.

The project has been granted public funding of £1,564,600 to help connect several villages in North Yorkshire to its “next-generation wireless” service, which will actually come in four different flavours (we assume a different solution is being used in each location). Apparently West Witton will be one of the first to benefit when the live trials finally get underway during April 2015.

It’s understood that one of the four solutions will make use of a more traditional WiFi system at 2.4GHz, while another will adopt a point-to-multipoint broadband fixed wireless access service at 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz, the next will make use of LTE (4G) style Small Cell technology and the last looks set to harness White Spaces (i.e. using the gaps between digital TV channels for wireless broadband).

The development is an usual one for Airwave, which is a company that’s normally more at home with the supply of specialist communication products to the emergency services than acting as a consumer focused ISP in rural areas.

Euros Evans, Airwave’s CTO, said (Northern Echo):

We have tackled coverage issues in remote and rural areas before and hope that we can now apply our knowledge of innovative communications technologies to help find a solution for those rural communities who need better broadband access.

As someone who lives on a remote farm in Wales, I know how difficult it can be, which is why I’m excited about the potential solutions being tested in North Yorkshire.”

North Yorkshire seems to be a hotspot for the testing of new technologies, with BT also working to prepare a trial of their new Fibre-to-the-Remote-Node (FTTrN) solution in a nearby village (here). Never the less it remains to be seen whether any of the Government’s pilot projects will receive further funding to help expand their coverage to fill-in a more significant proportion of the final 5%, where superfast broadband (24Mbps+) connectivity has yet to reach.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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2 Responses
  1. 2.4 GHz?? Are they serious?

  2. Avatar Patrick Cosgrove says:

    If they’ve no intention of funding the final 5% they’ll be losing even more rural votes at a crucial time. I can’t envisage then piloting these technologies only to leave deployment to the uncertainties of the market.

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