A new way to deliver broadband access to remote communities is being floated by York-based company - literally.

The firm, SkyLinc, has developed a system called Libra (Low Cost Integrated Broadband Radio Access). This uses helium balloons floating 1.5km above land as base stations for the deployment of broadband services. Just 18 such stations - which have been used extensively by military forces for communications in the field - would furnish total UK coverage.

Libra works by feeding signals to the balloon-toted broadband server via a fibre-optic pole. The system offers faster access than most broadband systems currently in place.

A BBC report explains that the manufacturers are establishing contracts with ISPs to bring its service to market. SkyLinc has two already-approved sites in Yorkshire, an area which is rapidly becoming the UK's new silicon valley.