Could BET prove a viable option to fill in Scotland's broadband not-spots?
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.