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Trials announced

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Broadband have-nots in Northern Ireland and Yorkshire are to take part in trials designed to wire-up parts of the UK currently without DSL.

Trials are due to begin this month at four sites in Yorkshire and five in Northern Ireland with BT installing its kit in street cabinets nearer to punters' homes and businesses.

By bringing BT's broadband kit (DSLAMs) closer to end users, it should help deliver broadband to those pockets of the UK that are beyond the reach of the telco's broadband network.

Beginning in December, BT will kick-off separate trials near Dorchester, Dorset, and in the Kingswells area of Aberdeen.

In both trials DSLAMs will be installed in street cabinets, which in turn will be connected back to the local telephone exchange by fibre optic cable - an approach known as 'fibre to the cabinet' (FTTC).

In a statement Cameron Rejali, MD for products and strategy at BT Wholesale: "While the vast majority of people can now get access to broadband we haven't lost sight of the small pockets where access to this vital technology remains an issue.

"We're investigating a range of possible solutions which might help us get broadband to small pockets of customers in certain areas."

While BT is upbeat that the trials will work, it wants to ensure that the approach is technically and commercially sound.

A year ago BT extended that reach of its broadband service so that 99.8 per cent of the UK was able to hook up to broadband. Despite its investment, though, around 100,000 households mostly in rural areas are still without high speed net access. ®

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