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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Thursday, November 06, 2003


Scotland: "Move to increase access to remotest inhabitants"

"Almost half the population of the Scottish Highlands, 200,000 of Britain's remotest inhabitants, will soon have access to broadband, according to Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the region's development agency. But more remarkably, a combination of unprecedented telecom industry partnerships, innovative technical solutions and a policy drive by public agencies could deliver broadband access to almost everyone in Britain's furthest flung corners by 2005, however remote their croft or castle."

"Larger Highland towns such as Inverness are already covered by mainstream ADSL technology - covering about 200,000 people. In July, HIE created Hi-Wide, a non-profit company designed to roll broadband out to the rest of the Highlands and Islands. Financed equally by EU funds and HIE, the company expects to invest an initial £2.6m in extending broadband to 50 communities in the next six months."

"HIE will install a leased line to a local centre, then use Wi-Fi wireless technology to offer broadband connectivity to homes within a three-mile range. Where direct line connections were impossible, Mr Davidson said HIE planned to pioneer the use of small solar or wind-powered wireless masts to allow signals to skip across mountains."

[£1.00 = $1.67 U.S.]



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