BARRD - Broadband Access for Rural Regeneration with DVB-RCS

  • Status
  • Status date

The objectives of the project are the integration and trial of a communications system that exploits the unique features of two wireless technologies, namely DVB-RCS and terrestrial wireless 802.11x.


The system is expected to be particularly relevant to some rural communities, which are suffering, when compared with urban communities, from a lack of broadband communications (the so-called digital divide). The new system will provide a broadband system that is easy and quick to install. The system can be shared by end users making it cost effective.


The key issues addressed in the project are:


  • Seamless integration of the two technologies,
  • Security,
  • Back office support for services,
  • Bandwidth management,
  • Flexible service packages suitable for a variety of users.

The expected benefits brought by the project are:


  • The availability of cost effective broadband communications in small rural communities that are, and will remain, outside the reach of typical terrestrial communications networks,
  • Further support for the growing trend of knowledge-based workers migrating from the cities to the countryside,
  • Support for the regeneration of rural economies that this trend encourages,
  • Extend the range of applications and hence market for satellite technologies.



The architecture of the system to be developed in the project can be seen in the following diagram:

Click here for larger image


Communications between end users (companies A & B) and the Internet are transmitted via the DVB-RCS terminal and the Hub, providing a high bandwidth channel. Rather than requiring each end user to purchase his own costly DVB-RCS terminal, BARRD will enable this equipment to be shared by a community of end users, through the use of the latest wireless technologies. Each user within wireless range of the DVB-RCS terminal, a distance typically of 2 km, will have access to high bandwidth communications. All he needs is low cost wireless equipment.


The expected plan follows a standard engineering approach with the following work packages:


  • Planning,
  • Design & Development,
  • Trial preparation and operation,
  • Evaluation and future planning,
  • Management.
Current status

The project started in June 2003 and achieved the following:

  • User Requirements were gathered,
  • Service Specifications were completed,
  • An architecture and Baseline Design Review (BDR) were completed,
  • Satellite hub infrastructure was installed and tested,
  • RCS terminal and WiFi equipment were integrated,
  • A Mid Term Review was completed,
  • RCS terminals and WiFi equipment were installed at 20 sites around the UK and more than 60 clients connected by Wifi,
  • Services, such as email, were implemented,
  • Feedback from users was obtained,
  • Statistics from a network-monitoring tool were gathered and analysed,
  • A Strategic Plan was developed for rolling out the system on a commercial basis.

The project has now ended, some users have been transferred to commercial contracts and efforts are continuing to roll-out the system.


Prime Contractor