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BT trials possible rural broadband solution on Bute

BT Openreach is trialling a new wireless broadband access technology on the Isle of Bute.

The study involves researching whether so called “white spaces” in the ultra high frequency (UHF) television spectrum can be used to deliver high speed internet in difficult to reach areas.

Partners in the trial include Strathclyde University, BBC Research and Development, Steepest Ascent, Berg Design and Netpropagate.

The government’s Technology Strategy Board has backed the project with funding.

BT said the initial results had been “very promising” with tests conducted over long distances and challenging terrain.

Live trials featuring a dozen users on Bute will start next month.

Liv Garfield, chief executive of Openreach, said: “It’s early days but our hope is that this technology may provide an effective solution for not spots and slow spots.”

BT has also confirmed it is rolling out its super fast fibre optic broadband service outside the central belt for the first time.

Its latest investment programme will connect a further 71,000 homes and businesses with exchanges in Aberdeen, Nairn, Inverkeithing, Cumbernauld and Glasgow the latest to be upgraded.

The work is expected to be completed by early 2012.

Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said: “This latest BT investment is another important step forward in the development of highly sophisticated communications in Scotland.

“I’m particularly pleased that were extending our roll-out further north, with parts of Aberdeen and Nairn now included in the programme.

“We know from feedback from the local community that deployment there has been greatly anticipated.”

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