Around 140,000 homes currently located in 'notspots' could be getting broadband access thanks to Broadband Enabling Technology (BET), which is being trialled by BT.

The ISP and broadband infrastructure provider is running a pilot scheme of the technology, which can provide a stable internet connection as far away as 12km from a telephone exchange, using a dedicated copper line, in eight areas of the UK including Berkshire, Worcestershire, and Northumberland.

The scheme is expected to start on 30 September. At present the maximum distance for a stable connection is 5km.

BET was initially trialed in Scotland and saw copper lines of between 7km and 12km offering a stable 1Mbps connection. BT said that if a second copper line is available, the two can be bonded together to create a 2Mbps connection.

This will go some way to providing a minimum 2Mbps internet connection to everyone in the UK, as detailed in the government's Digital Britain report. Recent research by the BBC and broadband website SamKnows revealed there are currently three million homes in the UK that are unable to achieve the minimum 2Mbps speed.

BT said it would begin rolling out the technology nationwide in 2010 if the pilot scheme proved successful and funding is secrred.

John Small, managing director of service delivery for BT Openreach said: "By rolling out BET, we can help customers and assist the Government to realise its aim for a universal 2Mbps broadband service."

Broadband speed test

See also: BT moves 40Mbps broadband trial to Glasgow