White Space Trial on the Isle of Bute

In April 2011, a six-partner consortium, with support from the UK government's Technology Strategy Board, started work on a rural broadband trial network that would use white space radio spectrum to provide broadband connectivity to a small community on the south part of the Isle of Bute, Scotland.

A key aim was to investigate and demonstrate the potential of white space spectrum for providing broadband access to remote, difficult-to-reach rural areas in challenging terrain. The 18-month project involved the planning and installation of white space radio links from the local telephone exchange to eight premises in the surrounding area, as well as backhaul connectivity from the telephone exchange to the mainland and then on to BT's IP backbone for access to the Internet.

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The project has been extremely useful in gaining insight into the viability of using white space spectrum for rural broadband provision, and has successfully demonstrated the potential of white space technology through the use of real-world applications such as video streaming and video conferencing. The provision of adequate broadband connectivity in rural areas is clearly very important in today's society, and the benefits of using white space spectrum are applicable not only to remote parts of Scotland but also to remote areas in many other parts of the world.

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Click here to download a copy of the project report (PDF - 3.3 MB).

See also:
BBC Technology News (29th March 2012)
The Telegraph (29th March 2012)