Monday, 3 August 2009

New Broadband Test Gives Hope To Those In Rural Not-Spots.

A test network has brought Broadband to those living on the remote isle of Skye in Scotland. The network was created by The University of Edinburgh in conjunction with the Highlands and Islands project in order to show that a quick and reliable broadband connection is possible in remote rural areas. It was created using a low-cost ring of wireless phone relays connected to the current internet connection at the Sabhal Mor Ostaig college.

The Government has pledged to provide 'Broadband for all' by 2012 as part of the Digital Britain project. This includes rural areas where fixed line and mobile broadband are not currently available. Bringing broadband to these areas is vital and, it would seem, not as difficult as once thought.

"Access to the internet is fast becoming a basic utility in cities, but in rural areas it is often unavailable. People living remotely need web access to run businesses, use mail order, to access educational support, or to contact friends and family. Broadband speed is doubly important in remote areas where radio, TV and telephones may not work well. Our study shows how high-speed access can be made available to remote areas."
Prof Peter Buneman, Edinburgh University.

Many areas of Scotland are still without an internet connection in part due to lack of investment. Broadband providers are unlikely to recoup costs from sparsely populated areas so government funding is vital. This test shows that providing coverage to rural areas is possible but further research and funding will be needed if the government is to meet it's target by 2012.

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