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Last Update: 03 Jan 2012
Applications

BARRD - Broadband Access for Rural Regeneration with DVB-RCS


Objectives

The objectives of the project are the integration and trial of a communications system that exploits the unique features of two wireless technologies, namely DVB-RCS and terrestrial wireless 802.11x.

The system is expected to be particularly relevant to some rural communities, which are suffering, when compared with urban communities, from a lack of broadband communications (the so-called digital divide). The new system will provide a broadband system that is easy and quick to install. The system can be shared by end users making it cost effective.

Features

The architecture of the system to be developed in the project can be seen in the following diagram:

Click here for larger image

Communications between end users (companies A & B) and the Internet are transmitted via the DVB-RCS terminal and the Hub, providing a high bandwidth channel. Rather than requiring each end user to purchase his own costly DVB-RCS terminal, BARRD will enable this equipment to be shared by a community of end users, through the use of the latest wireless technologies. Each user within wireless range of the DVB-RCS terminal, a distance typically of 2 km, will have access to high bandwidth communications. All he needs is low cost wireless equipment.

Project Plan

The expected plan follows a standard engineering approach with the following work packages:

  • Planning,
  • Design & Development,
  • Trial preparation and operation,
  • Evaluation and future planning,
  • Management.

Challenges

The key issues addressed in the project are:

  • Seamless integration of the two technologies,
  • Security,
  • Back office support for services,
  • Bandwidth management,
  • Flexible service packages suitable for a variety of users.

Benefits

The expected benefits brought by the project are:

  • The availability of cost effective broadband communications in small rural communities that are, and will remain, outside the reach of typical terrestrial communications networks,
  • Further support for the growing trend of knowledge-based workers migrating from the cities to the countryside,
  • Support for the regeneration of rural economies that this trend encourages,
  • Extend the range of applications and hence market for satellite technologies.

Current Status (dated: 19 Jan 2006)

The project started in June 2003 and achieved the following:
  • User Requirements were gathered,
  • Service Specifications were completed,
  • An architecture and Baseline Design Review (BDR) were completed,
  • Satellite hub infrastructure was installed and tested,
  • RCS terminal and WiFi equipment were integrated,
  • A Mid Term Review was completed,
  • RCS terminals and WiFi equipment were installed at 20 sites around the UK and more than 60 clients connected by Wifi,
  • Services, such as email, were implemented,
  • Feedback from users was obtained,
  • Statistics from a network-monitoring tool were gathered and analysed,
  • A Strategic Plan was developed for rolling out the system on a commercial basis.
The project has now ended, some users have been transferred to commercial contracts and efforts are continuing to roll-out the system.


Last Update: 03 Jan 2012
 
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