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Access to the Internet is considered essential and critically important to sustainability of rural economics and social development. Most rural communication centres, such as community telecentres (CTC) urgently need an error free long-haul digital radio link connection. Provision of an affordable and reliable narrowband radio link becomes essential to help them with their economic issues. The HF radio band freely available is, however, the most unreliable medium for data transmission. We, therefore, propose use of a new metric-activated error detecting trellis coded modulation (EDTCM) system coupled with an ARQ for extending the Internet access capability of these links considerably.