Two hundred computer users in rural Cornwall will be the guinea pigs for trials of a new superfast wireless broadband system being tested by BTand the mobile carrier Everything Everywhere, which could solve the problem of “notspots” that cannot get high-speed connections via telephone wires.
If the tests demonstrate that it is economically viable to use wireless broadband rather than wires, it could help to fulfil one of the aims of the Labour administration’s “Digital Britain” report, which recommended that every home should be able to get broadband at a minimum download speed of 2Mbps – an aim that the incoming coalition took up and endorsed.
The wireless connections will use radio spectrum freed up by the “digital dividend” from shutting off analogue TV transmitters, which occurred there in July 2009.
The tests, to begin in September and run for at least three months, will use the new “4G” wireless technology, also known as “LTE” (for “Long Term Evolution”), and involve 100 mobile and 100 fixed-line customers living near the Newlyn East area of south Newquay in Cornwall.
BT and Everything Everywhere are inviting people to bid for a place on the trial through a web-based system.