BT is running a trial of white space technology on the Isle of Bute in Scotland that could deliver high-speed broadband services as the company looks for ways to close the digital divide in the UK.
White space technology exploits the unused segments of digital TV signals, which vary geographically, to broadcast connections in areas where broadband is either non-existent or below 2Mbit/s.
The trial has been conducted with the University of Strathclyde and BBC Research and Development, and BT said that the initial results are promising given that the system is working over long distances and challenging terrain.
Live trials are due to begin in July to around a dozen homes fitted with a wireless service that links to a central exchange on the island which in turn sends and receives signals via a radio link to the mainland.
BT Openreach chief executive Liv Garfield said that the white space trial represents the firm's commitment to finding innovative ways of closing the digital divide, and could be a key future technology.
"The final 10 per cent of the UK is going to be the hardest to reach with fixed line superfast broadband, so we are busy trialling other technologies and I'm glad to say the initial results are very encouraging," she said.
"It's early days, but our hope is that this technology may provide an effective solution for not-spots and slow-spots."
BT also named a further 66 exchanges that it aims to upgrade by the end of 2011 and throughout 2012 which will see over one million homes and businesses with broadband speeds of 40Mbit/s and above.
Some of the locations added to the rollout include Morecambe, Hastings, Doncaster, Derby, Norwich and Bournemouth, and areas of London including Euston, King's Cross and Waterloo.
Garfield claimed that the speed of the upgrade work meant that BT is on track to meet its goal of bringing superfast broadband to the majority of the nation within the next few years.
"Being able to bring faster broadband within reach of more than five million premises is a significant milestone, and we are well on our way to passing 10 million in 2012 and two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015," she said.
BT recently announced a trial of 4G technology in Cornwall in conjunction with Everything Everywhere which will provide up to 200 volunteers with speeds of up to 100Mbit/s.
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