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Wireless Technologies shrink the Digital Divide

02 Oct 2003

Two wireless technologies are being used to bring broadband connections to rural areas of England and Scotland. Both local residents and knowledge workers migrating to these areas can both take advantage from this new project. A boost to these rural economies and the market for satellite technologies will also benefit.
The disparity between rural and urban areas with regard to internet accessibility still affects most European countries. This 'Digital Divide' greatly hinders economic development. As well, so-called 'knowledge-workers' who desire to leave the cities for a quiet rural life are currently unable to continue their work due to the prohibitively high cost of broadband connections and intermittent connectivity.

To solve this, Avanti Communications of the UK and Eutelsat of France have teamed up with Rural Solutions, also from the UK to develop Broadband Access for Rural Regeneration with DVB-RCS (BARRD). To realize this ambition, DVB-RCS and IEEE 802.11 will need to be seamlessly combined. Both technologies are standard platforms and therefore add enormously to the low cost.

In technological terms, DVB-RCS offers a broadband two-way satellite connection to inexpensive tranceivers. This avoids the need of a physical cable connection. IEEE 802.11 is a wireless terrestrial connection system and is easily available at any local computer store for installation on a personal computer.

The end result will be that instead of each end-user purchasing their own DVB-RCS terminal, BARRD makes it possible for one terminal to be shared by a group of users. They can be connected via the wireless IEEE based network and connect to the internet within a range of 2 km. The end-user needs only pay for the low cost wireless equipment.

The project began last June and is currently in the planning phase. A trial will take place very soon. 24 business parks will be involved, each business park contains an average of 5 end-users.
Last Update: 24 Oct 2006
 
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