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BT Announce New Wireless Trials
By: MarkJ - 16 December, 2003 (1:07 PM)

BT has today announced a new series of broadband wireless Internet access trials, specifically aimed at rural areas and those living outside of ADSL's reach:


BT today announced a series of trials to deliver rural broadband internet access without the need for wires, in a bid to reach its target of 100 per cent broadband coverage of every UK community by 2005.

BT has set up the trials as part of the company's efforts to deliver high-speed broadband services to rural and remote communities that cannot currently gain access to broadband using more traditional technology.

These include homes based more than 6 kilometres from an enabled exchange and some of the final 600 smallest exchanges where a trigger level has not yet been set.

BT announced last month that it was extending its demand registration scheme for ADSL broadband by setting triggers for a further 2,300 exchanges, serving two million homes and businesses.

Participants from rural households and businesses in Ballingry in Fife, Scotland, Pwllheli in Wales, Porthleven in Cornwall and Campsie in Northern Ireland have been selected to be part of the three-month radio broadband trials. The 105 triallists in the four regions, chosen from local people who registered interest via a web site, will be able to use their fast, always-on connection to surf the net at speeds similar to BT's existing ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) service.

If the trials are successful they could help to complete the UK's broadband jigsaw and take the technology to more customers and communities.

Pierre Danon, chief executive, BT Retail, said: "BT is absolutely committed to our goal of 100 per cent broadband coverage for every UK community by 2005. We want to make broadband services available to everyone in the UK - whether they live in town centres or rural communities should be irrelevant. The benefits of broadband are extensive and we are working hard to make this target a reality.

These trials enable us to test new, innovative technologies in a number of different environments and judge how well the technology works, so we are grateful to the people of Ballingry, Pwllheli, Porthleven and Campsie for agreeing to participate. Their experience could help BT and our partners to extend broadband and all its benefits to many more communities across the UK.

The technology uses transmission principles similar to radio signals. BT's Radio Broadband signals travel from a base station to the user's computer via a low-power antenna – similar to a satellite dish but much smaller and diamond-shaped - fitted onto the side of each house.

Participants will be asked to complete short surveys during and after the trial to assess the service.

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