A trial of 4G Long Term Evolution broadband in Cornwall, which is being run by Everything Everywhere and BT, has been extended until June this year.
Under the trial, which was first announced in May last year but didn't commence until October, Everything Everywhere (the parent company that formed when UK network's T-Mobile and Orange merged) and BT have utilised 10MHz of the test 800MHz spectrum, which is currently used for terrestrial TV broadcasts, to bring wireless internet access to 180 residents in the in St. Newlyn East and the surrounding areas of South Newquay.
Ofcom has now agreed to extend the licence for the trial by another six months. According to Everything Everywhere, those taking part in the trial have achieved an average download speed of 7Mbps, which enables access a range of content including On Demand television, HD video and VoIP services.
"This trial has been key in investigating ways to rapidly bring 4G LTE to Britain, and Ofcom is helping us do the groundwork to accelerate the UK from laggard to leader," said Olaf Swantee, CEO, Everything Everywhere.
Meanwhile, Nigel Stagg, CEO, BT Wholesale revealed the trial is enabling the firms to "see at first hand the real difference LTE is making in rural Cornwall and how it could provide an alternative mode of delivery in rural areas to complement fibre delivered broadband".
"There's no doubt that fixed line solutions offer a faster and more reliable broadband service, but there isn't a single silver bullet to meet the rural broadband challenge. We continue to also assess other potential solutions including other mobile and wireless technologies."