BT's Openreach division is beginning a pilot of new broadband technology designed to reach customers currently too far away from their local exchange to get high-speed internet access.
Broadband Enabling Technology (BET) is to be piloted in eight locations in England and Wales starting from 30 September, following successful initial trials at Inverness and Dingwall in Scotland.
BET is capable of delivering a stable broadband service to locations up to 12 kilometres away from the nearest exchange, more than double the five kilometre limit for existing broadband implementations.
The technology could therefore play a major role in the government's Digital Britain plans to deliver broadband access to everyone that wants it, according to Openreach.
"We are really excited about the potential of BET to extend broadband to the remaining not-spots," said John Small, managing director for service delivery at Openreach.
BET is based on a broadband standard called Single-Pair High-Speed Digital Subscriber Line, and can provide speeds up to 1Mbit/s, or up to 2Mbit/s by combining two channels operating over separate copper pairs.
Openreach will supply and install the BET equipment to internet service providers (ISPs) free of charge during the pilot, while customers will pay the ISP to receive broadband as usual. The price will be set by each individual ISP.
The eight new locations involved in the BET trial are Twyford in Berkshire, Badsey in Worcestershire, Llanfyllin in Powys, Leyland in Lancashire, Ponteland in Northumberland, Wigton in Cumbria, Horsham in West Sussex and Wymondham in Norfolk.
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