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Could BET prove a viable option to fill in Scotland's broadband not-spots?
Monday 11 April 2011 15:29:53 by John Hunt

Some of Scotland's most rural areas may finally get access to broadband through their phone lines using Broadband Enabling Technology (BET). Scottish broadband provider, Scotnet, have signed up to offer this product through The Kenton Group who deliver LLU based services. Businesses and consumers with long lines connected to the following exchanges should be able to benefit from the service: Longformacus and Ettrick Valley (Scottish Borders) and Portsoy, Aboyne, Auchenblae and Inverbervie (Aberdeenshire).

BET works by installing SHDSL equipment in the local telephone exchange and then amplifying the signal of this in a street-side cabinet which can increase the range from around 5km to 12km. It can offer broadband speeds of up to 2Mbps when two phone lines are used to provide the connection which meets the governments ambitions to achieve 2Mbps broadband for nearly everyone in the country by 2015.

"We are very impressed by the BET solution and during our trials we have seen firsthand the significant benefits it has to offer, not only with its means for long reaching broadband access. In our trials it has proved to be faster and more reliable than ADSL, being resilient to fluctuations and offering a more stable connection.

Residents have had to wait a substantial amount of time for a solution that is viable, both technologically and financially, but working in partnership we are now able to deliver improved broadband services to our customers through BET. The benefits of good broadband are tremendous not only for the users but also for the local economy, boosting business development, house prices and the appeal of the locations."

Stuart Glendinning, (Director) Scotnet

BET has received criticism from ISP's due to the expensive costs involved through BT Wholesale's BET solution which costs £1094 (£1312 including VAT) to install. No pricing has been revealed by Scotnet, but it's hoped that this solution through The Kenton Group will be a cheaper offering than BT's, which may make this a more viable product for broadband not-spots.

Update: 20/04/2011 - Install pricing above for BET corrected to £1094 ex VAT. Full BET pricing from Scotnet is available here.


Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
o no. poor scotland. an expensive fix, not futureproof, it will all be to do all over again.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
also due to extensive DACS in rural areas more copper will have to be laid. In this day and age? FFS. BET is already obsolete.
Posted by davidsisenberg over 6 years ago
Two megabits per second by 2015? That will ensure that Scotland remains impoverished and disadvantaged. By 2015 the DEVELOPED world will be at a gigabit per second, and the leading edge will be 10 gigabits or higher. What's next, an advanced Scottish transportation system based on horses?
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Doe sit really work as described ? or is the remote cabinet (?) actually an ADSL DSLAM using the SHDSL as backhaul. Amplifiers generally amplify noise as much as signal, after all.

What's the CPE look like ?
Posted by NilSatisOptimum over 6 years ago
2MBPS was a shameful promise of the last UK Government and even more shameful this current Government is hiding behind this promise. As the current coalition sees Digital economy as a major force in climbing out of the recession! Whoever advised, leaves me in utter state of incomprehension.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
I suppose it depends on how isolated these properties are. I can understand this as a solution to a solitary house half way up a mountain I suppose. Still as CD notes - if it means laying copper then it's pretty stupid. If it's for a collection of houses then FTTC seems better.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Surely a satellite service must trump this??
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
No one has to buy it...

What's the Scottish Government doing?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
If the Kenton solution undercuts Openreach, then why not go for it.

FTTP might be nice, but the cost to each of these properties is going to be more than £2k a pop, and in low density areas, you may only have a handful of lines per cabinet, pushing cost per line above BET again.

Better to have 2Meg than 160K I say, its not ideal, but then very little in the real world is.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
undercuts Openreach ?

"UK-based network access supplier, The Kenton Group, (TKG) has recently become a supporter of BT's Broadband Enabling Technology (BET)"
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
The sense of entitlement is sickening, they should feel lucky that they are getting anything at all.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
herdwick, with them being a LLU company I assume they buy the kit from BT and do it themselves at their own rates.
Posted by Jaggies over 6 years ago
"What's the Scottish Government doing?"

Trying to get itself re-elected.
Posted by mike4ql over 6 years ago
This will be like the Avanti solution of a couple of years ago. An expensive but useless solution which will prevent them ever getting a decent connection because it ticks the politicians box and they move on.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
@GMAN99 Openreach kit & service presents voice & ADSL to LLU operator rack in exchange
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
Nobody has the money for FTTP for these kind of lines, so surely BET is better than just leaving it as it is.

I've always thought that a good solution in these kind of cases is to bundle together the lines that are present and let the neighbours share the resulting bandwidth. I know that's not quite what the BET solution is about.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Dunno what they are getting at then herdwick... a strange thing to say if its just being resold
Posted by Zarjaz over 6 years ago
Asfaik Kenton's make the exchange cards/line kit/NTU's.
Posted by Zarjaz over 6 years ago
[q]Doe sit really work as described ? or is the remote cabinet (?) actually an ADSL DSLAM using the SHDSL as backhaul. Amplifiers generally amplify noise as much as signal, after all.

What's the CPE look like ?[/q]
Yes, it's 'normal' DSL sent out on one or two copper pairs, then connected through a signal 'replicator' and off on the D-side. At the NTE a small (6X4 inch) box is hard wired in, once all synchronised, the 'normal' DSL reappears. Microfilters, etc, etc.
Posted by bjmccourt over 6 years ago
As long as appropriate infrastructure is in place to ensure that Scotland's Oil and its Electricity from all the damned pylons cluttering the once scenic landscape, and of course sufficient pipes are available for shipping out our water when anyone suffers drought in Englandshire, everyone should be happy. :)
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
Cost of BET v cost of FTTP which cybermuppet suggests. No contest really.

If I was in their situation, I would rather get a connection now than have to wait the 10 years it would take to get funding for FTTP.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
Yep £2k vs £6K+ and the hardware for FTTP for connecting a solitary isolated property. No brainer. Unless the occupier is prepared to foot the bill.
Posted by scotnet_BET over 6 years ago
The installation cost for the 2Mb BET service is £1095 plus vat - not £1930 as quoted above. The areas being served through this project are very remote with many users on dial-up services. Fibre is many many many years away from coming to these people and BET will provide a great service to them for the next few years.
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