BT: Tests using white space for rural broadband are 'very encouraging'

BT said it is pleased with the results of initial trials to provide wireless broadband in remote rural areas using white space spectrum.

The fixed-line telco said that the initial tests using UHF spectrum have been very promising, and it plans to extend coverage on the remote Scottish Isle of Bute to 12 users in July. If this proves successful, BT could use the technology to offer wireless broadband connections to other isolated communities.

"The final 10 per cent of the UK is going to be the hardest to reach, with fixed-line superfast broadband, and so we are busy trialling other technologies," Liv Garfield, the CEO of BT Openreach, BT's broadband subsidiary, told the Daily Telegraph "One of these is based on white space and I'm glad to say the initial results are very encouraging. It's early days, but our hope is that this technology may provide an effective solution for 'not spots' and 'slow spots.'"

White space spectrum--the UHF frequencies (400-800MHz) left unused by TV broadcaster--is now increasingly available as the switchover to digital TV takes place in the UK. These bands are seen as very attractive by wireless operators due to the range and in-building penetration they provided.

The BT Openreach project is being conducted with help from the University of Strathclyde, BBC R&D, Steepest Ascent, Berg Design and Netpropagate. In addition, funding is being made available via the UK government's Technology Strategy Board.

For more:
- see this Daily Telegraph article
- see this Computing article

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