All posts by Richard (admin)

Setting up the House: Costs and Savings

We’ve had a number of queries about the costs and benefits of the fibre broadband, so we’re asking people to tell their own stories here, ranging from those who are only moving to the glen because of the new service to those of us whose ability to continue to live and work here depends on decent communications.

To kick things off, here’s our own example, covering what we spend now as one private household on communications and entertainment every month, what it will cost us to get our house to make best use of the new service an and what we’ll then be spending after the fibre is installed:

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Digging Stronvar

Having finally got the health, safety and insurance bureaucracy out of the way, we’ve been able to get properly stuck in with the network dig. Now, there are a couple of ways of going about this: from picking the smallest, least disturbing tools possible and proceeding in a sensitive and non-disruptive manner, to throwing the biggest damn digger you can find at the job, on the principle that it won’t find anything it can’t handle. So guess which we went with?

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North Skye, BCB, CBS and R100

In March 2017, following a second failed procurement run through Community Broadband Scotland, we formally withdrew from that public funding process and reverted to seeking de minimis (up to €200,000) public support for our project. This followed more than three years effort in engaging with CBS, and that after its taking two years to establish whether or not we would qualify for funding. So the decision was taken with the greatest reluctance, not least because doing so would create a significant shortfall in our project budget.

Now, a parallel community project, with similar goals to ourselves and itself with a great deal of expertise, North Skye Broadband, has also been forced to withdraw from the public funding process, issuing this press release, one that we could have issued practically unchanged to describe our own experience.

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And We’re Off…

It’s been quiet on the broadband news front, too quiet. But that’s not been because nothing’s been happening: quite the opposite. The silence has been born of not wishing to depress and bore people with details of the ongoing conflict we’ve had with Community Broadband Scotland and of our not being allowed to officially ‘start’ our project – apparently that could have prejudiced some of the public funding.

Continue reading And We’re Off…

The First Cut is the Deepest…

…or it is when the first segment of the network has to run along an unmade track. But here’s the first demonstration that we’re finally turning years of effort and planning into reality: this, today, is the very first section of dig for the first network segment.

It’s slightly ahead of the rest of the project – our local property developer needed to surface the track to his plots so has kindly offered to dig in the ducting for us, to save us (and him) from having to dig up his newly surfaced road again in a few weeks’ time. 

But this is going to serve the first segment of network from the access point to the fibre backhaul at Stronvar, from where the network will be radiating out to the rest of the glen, just as soon as we can get ourselves and suppliers organised – that’s an ongoing job.

We’ve also got the final network design review happening next week, after which we should have everything nailed down, routes and equipment chosen. Then we’ll really be ready to get going.