News for Rural PAWS

4th February 2015

R-PAWS team contribute to "Transform Aberdeen"

R-PAWS researchers will be participating at a high profile event at Aberdeen's Exhibition and Conference Centre is bringing together the business community, digital network operators and the public sector in an exciting conference and showcase, to look at plans for creating a world class digital infrastructure in a world class city. Key topics include how innovative approaches to exploiting new digital opportunities by business, public and academic sectors and the role of collaborative approaches to connect those at the edge of the digital networks.

3rd February 2015

News from the Government... "Hard to reach muct not be left Offline"!

A select committe have concluded that Government plans to transform UK broadband must not leave rural farms, business and homes offline or on slow connections. The commitee chair said: People living in the hard-to reach 5% of premsises need the same access as the rest to online and digital services.

16th January 2015

New participants to R-PAWS Phase II get underway in winter weather

Following the success of the Rural PAWS pilot phase (April – October) last year, the second part of our exploration of a differentiated satellite broadband service ‘in the wild’ got fully underway earlier this month. Another four households have joined the Rural PAWS study in rural Shropshire and are now receiving a differentiated broadband service that provides ‘fast-track’ access to .gov.uk websites.

Snowy weather on the Shropshire hills, not unusual at this time of year, did present some access challenges but with tractors and snow ploughs and an array of 4x4s on hand, all installs were up and running on schedule.  As with our long-standing R-PAWS participants our new cohort will also provide us with feedback on the service and indications of how they use the Internet in their daily lives

May 2014

Tom and Cyril’s epic adventure

A Rural PAWS programme of activity, nicknamed ‘Emergency Wales’ by our Computer Engineers, involved our resourceful duo in some innovative installation of wifi enablers at our participating campsite. Keen to make the most of the visitor season, and sunny weather, Tom and Cyril beamed the R-PAWS signal from our participating household to enable visitors to the campsite to utilise the Rural PAWS service. The signal reached an outermost field (hence the sheep) – job done!

14th April 2014

Is this England or Wales? Avanti and PAWS go rural!

Last week PAWS technology went into the field with the installation of satellite terminals and internet via a Rural-PAWS router at four sites in the Shropshire-Wales borders. Each site was selected and participants recruited to collectively represent a microcosm of digital connectivity issues in the rural community: rural businesses, new ‘older generation’ users, and a digital new generation household. Whilst testing Phase I of Rural-PAWS – the acceptability and potential of the PAWS technology to users in a rural setting, the sites also present opportunities for Phase II of the study.

Apart from heavy rain on the first install day and the usual challenges presented by older farmhouses with thick stone walls, the deployment was largely devoid of problems. On Wednesday 9th April the four pilot sites all had internet connection via the Rural-PAWS router. The users at each site are providing regular feedback on the service which is also being monitored from afar by the Rural-PAWS team in Aberdeen.