Switching on to a super-fast TV

A leading Silicon Valley technology company is to use South Yorkshire's super-fast broadband network to trial a revolutionary digital TV service.

Box Top Solutions has developed a system called FreeBand which aims to transform how broadband services are paid for. It allows homes which aren't connected to the super-fast broadband network to access the system using their digital television.

Known as "FreeBand," San Jose-based Box Top's system is based on the "Android" operating system, widely used by mobile phones and owned by search engine giant Google.

FreeBand will allow people to access commercial and government services including video, music, news, e-mail, telehealth, distance learning, videoconferencing and social networking. And, it also enables the organisations providing the services to pay for the broadband services which their clients use.

Organisations could then bill individual customers who will not need to pay an internet service provider for a permanent broadband connection.

David Carr, chief executive of Digital Region, the organisation behind South Yorkshire's multimillion pound super-fast broadband development, hailed FreeBand as a groundbreaking broadband solution.

"This innovation is what Digital Region is all about and reflects why the project has been an important investment for the region," said Mr Carr. "It has the potential to benefit all involved and could fundamentally change how many households get online.

"It will enable providers of services such as councils, healthcare, education and businesses to reach households who would otherwise remain unconnected, expanding the market for services and directly addressing issues of digital inclusion.

"What's more, this is commercially viable – and users will benefit from the wealth of choice that accessing the thousands of Android applications brings and providers can engage with a far broader audience.

"We are extremely excited to work with BoxTop on such a significant trial, and proud to ensure Digital Region meets the challenge of the Digital Promise."

Box Top founder, Thomas Sachson, said: "Box Top is very pleased to be working with such a visionary and socially committed carrier as Digital Region on this trial.

"Not only will this initiative open the doors of online opportunity for those currently unserved in South Yorkshire, but it will serve as a model for other communities globally who need to connect the unconnected, do so in a cost effective manner and also not sacrifice on speed, quality, or user experience."

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