LONDON – BT has announced that it will be conducting pilot trials that would enable it to provide broadband services to the remaining 0.2 percent of areas where the service is currently unavailable.
This is because these pockets are out of range of the nearest telephone exchange. BT will install broadband switches (DSLAMS) near street cabinets and connect them via a fiber optic cable to the exchange. Nine locations in Yorkshire and Northern Ireland have been identified for the trials that will run into the summer of the next year.
Commenting on this project, Cameron Rejali, BT Wholesale managing director for products and strategy said, “While the vast majority of people can now get access to broadband we haven’t lost sight of the small pockets where access to this vital technology remains an issue. We’re investigating a range of possible solutions which might help us get broadband to small pockets of customers in certain areas.”
BT had extended the availability of broadband services to local exchanges that had been upgraded so that many users would be able to get 512kbit/s ADSL service. This move had ensured that there was 99.8 percent broadband connectivity. Now, BT is focusing on integrating the remaining 0.2 percent as well.
“We believe the approaches set to be trialled can get ADSL service to such areas but BT Wholesale has to investigate the technical, commercial and operational factors which will influence any future deployment of such solutions,” pointed out Rejali. About 200 trialists have been invited to take part in these pilot trials.
BT is also conducting similar trials in December to provide broadband services to Charlton Down area of Dorchester, Dorset, and the Kingswells area of Aberdeen. In these areas, the cable technology is not broadband-enabled and hence they have been excluded till now. Both these trials aim to test the technical, logistical and commercial aspects of providing broadband services to remote areas.