HopScotch - a low-power renewable energy base station network for rural broadband access

Colin McGuire, Malcolm Ronald Brew, Faisal Darbari, Gregour Bolton, Anthony McMahon, David H Crawford, Stephan Weiss, Robert Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
107 Downloads (Pure)


The provision of adequate broadband access to communities in sparsely populated rural areas has in the past been severely restricted. In this paper, we present a wireless broadband access test bed running in the Scottish Highlands and Islands which is based on a relay network of low-power base stations. Base stations are powered by a combination of renewable sources creating a low cost and scalable solution suitable for community ownership. The use of the 5~GHz bands allows the network to offer large data rates and the testing of ultra high frequency ``white space'' bands allow expansive coverage whilst reducing the number of base stations or required transmission power. We argue that the reliance on renewable power and the intelligent use of frequency bands makes this approach an economic green radio technology which can address the problem of rural broadband access.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112
Number of pages12
JournalEURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2012


  • rural broadband
  • HopScotch
  • wireless broadband communications
  • low-power base stations


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