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BT has claimed it could use drones in delivering and repairing internet and phone services in rural areas.

That is the verdict of the company's Head of Customer Innovation Matthew Key, who claims the use of such technology would be especially suited to maintaining areas that would otherwise be hard to reach for engineers.

He added that advances in tools such as lighter batteries and GPS tracking could make drones even more of a viable option.

“If your network is damaged by a flood, or another natural disaster, drones could fly over and assess what needs to be done - and we could get you back online as quickly as possible. They could even give you temporary broadband access if there’s a disruption to the network," he said.

"Or broadcast broadband at big events like music festivals. And they could transmit mobile signals too, if needed. In the future, we could also help customers tackle logistical, agricultural and energy challenges with their drone deployments."

BT is by no means the first company to look into the use of drones, with the technology already being used by Nokia Networks in the UAE to carry out several important network tasks.

In Dubai, for example, Nokia's drones assist with tower inspections, radio planning, line-of-sight testing, and network optimisation ahead of large scale events.

By not sending workers up to the tops of towers or forcing them to work in poor weather conditions, the use of drones may be a safer option for network maintenance, allowing work to be carried out when it may not have been possible otherwise.

"Drones are such a new technology that we probably haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what they can do. Computers were created to solve maths problems, now we use them to connect people across the globe. With a little creativity, drones could change the world," Mr Key added.

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