Two trial locations for a Mesh Wireless system are to be used by BT. The locations are Rhymney in Wales, and Ballingry in Scotland. The trials are due to last from September to December 2003, and each location will have thirty places. The BT site for the trial is BTMeshTrial.com and this holds all the details on trial.
Mesh wireless systems rely on a grid of local wireless nodes to relay the traffic around an area, which means that each node does not require line of sight to a base station, just a clear signal to another node. Previous Mesh trials have looked at using the system for providing Video On Demand TV services, this trial is giving users 0.5Mbps Internet access, and therefore is a much more realistic test of using Mesh technology to give a basic Internet service.
If you are in one of the two areas and are interested in the trial a registration page is available here. The three month trial is free, but it appears at present that the trial is not open ended, i.e. once the three months are over the service will be taken away. For people in Rhymney this is not too bad, as the exchange is 50% of its way towards triggering for the standard ADSL rollout, but Ballingry looks a long way from its trigger. To give a taste of broadband and then take it away is very cruel, the best hope is that demand will be generated because of the trial and Ballingry will get some other form of broadband shortly after the trial.
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