BT trials in the Outer Hebredes to test speed limits of rural broadband

Friday, August 19th 2016

The telecoms giant of UK, BT, has started public trials of a technology that will help deliver low cost broadband of the new legal minimum speeds. The operator is testing on Isle of Lewis, in North Tolsta, on a system designed to boost internet speeds over conventional copper telephone line that is 2 miles long, connecting the street-cabinet to remote premises.

The telecoms provider claims this technology is capable of delivering 10Mbps of incoming as minimum standard. Developed in BT's own labs, it is called Long Reach VDSL. It can connect most of the 1 million homes that are bogged down with slow speeds of lines.

The Digital Economy Bill which is presently going through Parliament, will introduce the thereshold. Ofcom has recommended 10Mbps as the minimum required broadband speed for a family, to surf the net, watch streaming video and make calls, simultaneously.

Long Reach VDSL makes use of more frequencies and power to boost the signal range running over the copper lines. This is because typically households connected to BT's network over a lengthy copper telephone line suffers from slower speeds as the quality of signals degrades over longer distances, even though the street-cabinet is connected by fibre-optic cables.

However, BT has cautioned that this technology will not work for many of the remote communities where copper lines stretch over 2.5 miles. In more densely populated regions with shorter telephone lines (copper), BT is getting ready to launch their technology.

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